Imagine standing in the cold in the middle of Moraine State Park preparing to make the leap, run, or walk into freezing water. This is exactly what six members of SRU Rock PRoductions, SRU’s on campus PR firm, did at this years Douse for a House: Polar Plunge.
“This year I was the liaison between Slippery Rock’s Rock PRoduction and Sheree Cunningham, the executive director of Lawrence County Habitat for Humanity,” Lauren Jacobs, 21, a junior Public Relations major and secretary of Rock PRoductions, said.
Douse for a House, according to Jacobs, is where volunteer either donate as an individual or as a team to Lawrence County Habitat for Humanity to take the plunge. On the day of the plunge all members and teams gather at Moraine State Park and prepare to run out as far as they can into the water.
“This is my second year doing the plunge, and this year was freezing since their was snow on the ground,” Jacobs said. “It was so cold in the water that I didn’t realize that I lost my flip-flops.”
While the majority of the plunge takes place outside, The National Guard supplies heated tents to help ease the cold that everyone experiences. Also food such as hot dogs are provided to ease any plunger’s hunger as well.
All of these elements create an experience that Jacobs describes as like no other.
Another student that got involved with the plunge was Courtney Moats, 22, a senior Public Relations major and President of Rock PRoductions.
“Douse for a House is one of our clients and we as an organization are trying to get more involved in the community and this seemed like a good opportunity,” Moats said.
As the President of the organization, Moats felt that she needed to get involved and be pushed as a person and a leader.
“I can’t ask members to take the plunge if I weren’t willing to plunge also,” Moats said.
Moats described that when she arrived at Moraine State Park everyone was breaking up the ice so that everyone can jump in. But the moment didn’t become surreal until they started playing the National Anthem and she felt like she was doing something good.
Moats even volunteered to escort one of the many dogs, Brutus, into the water also.
“I only went as deep as he would go, and me being five foot nine, the water only came to my waist,” Moats explained.
Another favorite moment of the day that Moats explained was right before she ran into the water she and her team all linked arms.
“It felt good, because they are all my friends and part of the same organizations, Rock PRoduction,” Moats said.
This year’s Douse for a House was a success for the organizations, but there is always room for growth, explained Jacobs.
“We would love to get more students and organizations involved,” Jacobs said.
In the end, taking the plunge always takes a lot of courage, but it is a unique experience.
“It takes drive and definitely forces you out of your comfort zone,” Moats said.