Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Taking the (icy) plunge

Freezing good fun for the kids


March 21, 2019

Grace Moore

CCSD #1 staff members test the frigid Keyhole waters on Saturday during the annual Jackalope Jump Special Olympics fundraiser.

Twenty seven hardy souls participated in the second annual Jackalope Jump on Saturday afternoon. With a strong supporting cast and jubilant fans cheering them on, the jumpers made their way to the dock.

Dusty Downey and daughters Melibe and Avenlee were on hand with life preservers for anyone who may have experienced difficulties plunging into the cold water.

Crook County School district #1 Special Education director Sandra Neiman and her staff started the festivities off dressed as ducks as they took the first leap. This was Neiman's first time.

"Go for the gusto," she exclaimed. "Anything for the kids."

After she returned to the marina store, dried off and redressed in warm clothes, she said she might even try it again next year.

Superintendent Mark Broderson and M K-8 principal Teresa Brown also took the plunge. Brown explained that friend Kassie Clements talked her into it if the kids raised $500; they did and so did she. After the plunge, Brown described the swim as "exhilarating" and was not averse to the possibility of jumping again next year.

Alyssa Merchant jumped on behalf of her brother Bryce.

"He didn't want to so I figured I'd do it for him. I'm happy to help, but [this first time] I'm a little scared," she said. After climbing out of the drink, she was more hesitant to consider any repeat of said action.

As the swimmers returned to shore, they were wrapped in warm towels and blankets before being ushered into the store, where they were provided with hot chili and cocoa to warm up.

The Jackalope Jump is a fundraiser for the Special Olympics and the funds raised here stay within Crook County. Clements stated that, while they had not yet counted all donations, "We did very well".


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