Three Loudoun residents and environmental activists raised $2500 on Saturday, January 21, 2012,  for the “Keep Winter Cold” Annual Polar Bear Plunge, benefitting Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN).  Tony Noerpel, the Founder of Sustainable Loudoun and a CCAN Board Member, joined other veteran plungers Gina Faber and Des Coghlan, also active members of Sustainable Loudoun.

Intending initially to plunge with other CCAN activists in a Maryland branch of the Potomac River, our local plungers had to change their plan due to icy road conditions that Saturday morning.   They decided to pull the cover back and plunge into Tony’s  unheated backyard pool in rural Lovettsville with their “crew” waiting with towels ready.

Saturday morning at noon,  dressed in their pre-plunge attire, rather than listening to pre-plunge professional musicians and motivational speeches offered at the official plunge site in National Harbor, MD, Tony played a little mandolin,  and the 3 plungers posed in front of the fireplace for their “official photographers”.

Out to the pool they went with their towels and robes. The pool water temperature: 37 degrees. The outside temp: 30 degrees. Tony went in first, followed by Des, and then Gina who, in a rush to get in there before Tony got out, never got out of her sweatshirt! As soon as the photographic evidence was deemed sufficient, they got out of water as fast as they could. Total immersion time: at least 1 minute. Photos reveal that Gina’s mouth was open the entire time-Screaming!
CCAN has been hosting the Annual Polar Bear Plunge to draw attention to the climate crisis in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC.  For seven years, increasing numbers of activists have plunged into cold bodies of water in our region to raise money for CCAN’s local efforts to promote renewable energy in MD, VA and DC.   The Polar Bear Plunge is the Chesapeake Climate Action Network’s biggest annual fundraising event.

We are proud of our exceptional volunteers and the others on doing such a courageous act of environmental activism.