Taking the plunge: Group raises funds for Special Olympics with chilly Atlantic dip

Published 9:24 am Saturday, January 8, 2022

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About 35 members of the OBX Women’s Adventure Club plunged into the chilly Atlantic on the first day of 2022 to raise money for Dare County Special Olympics.

“It’s a really cool way to start the year, literally and figuratively,” said the club’s founder Stephanie Anderson. The Polar Plunge is the biggest annual fundraiser that the club participates in because for many members, Special Olympics is “near and dear to our hearts,” said Anderson. Last year the club raised $1000 for the charity, and this year they raised over $1400.

“It’s one of my favorite events of the year. A week prior I get a little nervous about the cold . . . but when you dive in, it is so invigorating. Being out there with all of these really great women, there’s a great energy there,” she said. “I feel like it gives you this fresh clean start to the year. It’s a really cool thing.”

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The OBX Women’s Adventure Club was started at the end of 2019 when Anderson and a friend were hiking with large backpacks in the Outer Banks in preparation for a trip to Yellowstone. “A lot of women approached us and said, ‘I’d love to do this.’ We thought, wow, that would be really cool to have a group of women who want to do outdoor activities together.”

The club has close to 400 members on Facebook and is growing every week. They plan events like hiking, kayaking, parasailing, indoor skydiving, axe throwing and even have an adventure book club. “There’s a huge variety to target different interests,” Anderson said. They meet one to three times a month and do not charge dues; the only fees are those incurred for actual adventure events. To connect with OBX Women’s Adventure Club, visit the group on Facebook.