Although I was frozen like a popsicle last Thursday, I covered one of the coolest events I’ve seen in Huntsville.

The Polk Street Polar Plunge raised more than $3,000 for Special Olympics. Nine brave souls jumped into icy water to raise the money. Huntsville Schools participate in many Special Olympics activities, so the effort Thursday was close to home, so to speak.

Many people wrapped in blankets and winter clothes were on hand to watch.

The event took place on the football field at Eagle Stadium. A round, aluminum watering tank was filled with water. The Record will run photos from the event in next week’s paper.

Similar events are held around the country, including at Beaver Lake. They are held in the winter, thus making it a true Polar Plunge.

Temperatures prior to the 11 a.m. event in Huntsville last Thursday were in the 20s, with a stiff wind as well. A nearby high jump pit was covered in ice. A warning sign was put up that the football bleachers were covered in ice.

So, yes, it was freezing.

I had in mind what would make the best photo: One of the plungers hitting the water, causing great facial expressions of shock and disbelief. Capturing “the moment” was my goal.

My hands were so cold Thursday that I often had trouble pressing the shutter on the camera. The digital camera at times protested the cold by refusing to work. So, I didn’t get the “one,” the photo that I had envisioned, but I still got a few good ones.

Those who raised money to support their jumping in the water were Jett Loenneke, Todd Thomas, Tucker Bradley, Tonja McCone, Jennifer Roach, Nathaniel West, Matt Ferguson, Ed Beck and Courtney McCone.

Those on hand saw backflips, bellyflops and cannonballs as the plungers entered the tank.

Bradley, a sophomore at Huntsville High School, raised the most money as an individual and won for best costume. He dressed as the movie character “Joe Dirt.”

Ferguson, Middle School principal, wore an eagle outfit, while Beck, a coach/teacher, dressed as though he was taking a bath.  After briefly using a brush, Beck went backwards and completely into the water. After that, eight other brave souls did their parts.

The bravest of all may have been Loenneke, a senior at HHS. He arrived in shorts with a hoodie on, but he stripped down to just shorts for his plunge. He was standing on the wet field, without shoes, just in his shorts before jumping in the pool.

I used to be that way, at his age, but now the cold just rips through me. It takes a full day to recover if I get really cold. Trust me, I got really cold covering this event, and I had on my heaviest coat and a stocking hat.

The Huntsville Police Department raised the most money as a group, while the Huntsville Middle School won “Cool School Challenge” by raising the most money by a school.

Those who didn’t want to take the plunge contributed by purchasing “I Chickened Out” T-shirts.

High school Principal Roxanne Enix said earlier in the week she would participate, but she was dressed like an Antarctica explorer on Thursday. Many folks were holding cups of hot chocolate or using hand warmers. Poor Greg McCone, girls basketball coach, was dressed like he was on an elk hunt up high in the mountains.

I’m trying to tell ya, it was cold Thursday, even for those of us not going in the water.

Thanks to Jett, Todd, Tucker, Tonja, Jennifer, Nathaniel Matt, Ed and Courtney, Special Olympics got a nice donation. Maybe the 2021 plunge can raise even more money.

Maybe it’ll be in the 70s for next year’s event.