Haywood waterways raises more than $39,000

CANTON — Feb. 1 might seem like a strange time of year for a pool party, but supporters of Haywood Waterways Association gathered nonetheless around the Canton Pool at noon for The Plunge.

Including state and local elected officials, firefighters and costumed citizens, 113 plungers jumped, flopped or flipped off the diving board and into the 43 degree water at the Canton Pool, raising money for future Haywood Waterways Association education events.

“Freezin’ for a reason,” shivered N.C. House Rep. Joe Sam Queen (D-Waynesville), sopping wet as he climbed out of the pool.

Among those in costume, plungers were dressed as comic book superheroes and super-villains, bears, Miss Maggie, a dinosaur, a unicorn, Darth Vader, a surfer with Willie Nelson hair, a walrus, Pac-Man and ghosts, a minion, cowboys and a clergyman, with others wearing colorful wigs, sparkly hats, hula skirts, circus garb, bird masks, a gothic dress and tie-dye clothing, plus one man who wore a dainty pink tutu.

“It’s like Halloween in February,” said HWA Project Assistant Christine O’Brien.

Now in its eighth year, The Plunge pool party raised funds for HWA educational outreach events, namely Kids in the Creek, wherein local eighth graders learn about their local waters by way of hands-on experience.

While the final fundraising numbers are still being tallied, The Plunge 2020 has already surpassed the record set last year by more than $8,000. At least $39,000 was raised during The Plunge this year, according to figures from HWA Executive Director Eric Romaniszyn.

“We sincerely appreciate the Town of Canton for hosting our greatest plunge yet,” Romaniszyn said.

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