Posted by: sonewjersey | January 8, 2010

Feature Interview: 4 Time Wildwood Plunger

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 Gordon Ball, 61, is a Purchasing Agent and Personnel Director for the City of Wildwood who will be taking his FOURTH plunge in Wildwood! Here, he shares his stories, advice, and memories with all of us.

Gordon's Team, The Fiddler Crabs

KW: How did you originally find out about the Plunges?

GB: I am a member of the Greater Wildwood Kiwanis Club and we sponsored a few activities for the Special Olympians when they had some Winter games here in our [Wildwoods] Convention Center. We’d sponsored a dance one year and a Game Night another year for the contestants. It was announced that Special Olympics was going to sponsor a Polar Bear Plunge the following year to raise funds and I thought that since I had gone to college in Minnesota, well, why not? How much colder could it possibly be than the years I spent in college in Minnesota?

KW: How did/do you feel about doing the plunge?

GB: Well, it’s important to do things to help others and especially for kids. Of course, it’s always good to get together with others that you are friends with that do the plunge as well. It also has the added benefit of convincing myself that I couldn’t POSSIBLY be my age, since someone my age ought to know better than to jump into freezing cold water! As I always say, you’re only as old as you act! !

I then asked him how many Plunges he had participated in, which he responded with:
“I’ve participated in all the Polar Plunges Special Olympics has held in Wildwood.  I believe that is three or four. [The cold seems to numb the memory I’m afraid!]”
We checked, and this will definitely be 4!

KW: How have you seen the event change throughout the years?

GB: The participation seems to increase each year. The attendance grows with even more events such as the portable “Hot Tub” last year. The lunch they serve is very good and the warm water they spray your feet off with afterward sure feels good! For some reason though, each year also seems to get colder and colder.

KW: What advice would you give to first time Plungers?

GB: For first time plungers, I’d recommend that you bring someone to hold your clothes to change into so they don’t get wet sitting on the beach!

KW: Lastly, what is the CRAZIEST thing you have seen at a Plunge?

GB: The craziest thing I’ve seen there? There have been quite a few. Perhaps the woman, whom I know was in her 70’s, wearing a baby style big bonnet and baby dress. Perhaps, it’s all the crazy hats. Maybe, it’s the silly uniforms with Viking Head dresses. Perhaps, it was all of us running through the ice on the beach at the water’s edge without beach sandals. There are just so many…

Good Luck Gordon!  See you on the beach.

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