DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) — News 19’s very own Jessica Camuto and Lynsey Smith kicked off 2023 with a splash!
Both Jessica and Lynsey participated in Decatur’s annual New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge.
The event was held on the south side of the Tennessee River on the pier near Ingalls Harbor Sunday afternoon.
Morgan County Rescue Squad were also in attendance to assist any jumpers.
Danny Kelso, Morgan County Rescue Squad Chief, says “People that say they may not be able to swim or older, something of that nature, or young if we have a life jacket available, we’ll let them use it. We will just observe everybody exiting the water and we will also have a raft on the water to make sure if people need to swim over to it, they can grab the boat or the raft and we will get them to shore.”
Event organizers say over 109 people participated in the plunge. The youngest jumper that signed up was four years old and the oldest was 65.
Event organizers also say $1,602 was raised for their Meals on Wheels & More Program.
Sponsored by the Community Action Partnership of North Alabama, this event helps to serve meals to disabled and homebound residents in the county. By selling items at the event like hot chocolate and t-shirts, CAPNA says they’re raising money while spreading awareness.
“Today’s a great community event which benefits are meals on wheels program and partnership with the city and also the Morgan County Rescue Squad,” Thrasher said. “I’m glad nobody was hurt, and we had a great turnout today. It’s exciting to see the money that came in through t-shirt sales for the Meals on Wheels program and just to benefit the community and bringing the community together for the new year.”
Thrasher tells News 19 that the COVID-19 pandemic reduced the number of meals served to those in need, but volunteers have been working to get back on track.
Thrasher says Meals on Wheels & More serves meals to approximately 300 disabled and homebound residents of Morgan County at no cost to them.
The meals are prepared each weekday and are delivered by volunteers.
The program is funded solely by United Way of Morgan County and private donations.
Donations to the Meals on Wheels & More program may be made by calling Director Cindy Anderson at 256-260-3103 or by mailing the donation to The Partnership’s Central Office location at 1909 Central Parkway SW, Decatur, Alabama, 35601.