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8:37 AM Fri, Oct. 19th

Polar Bear Plunge supports The Launch Pad

Les Bowen/The Daily Courier<br>
Sue Rose Sena, Carson Sena, Michael Yarnes, Brian Lemke, Keith Lemke, Donna Casey, Emily Thompson and David Lemke feel the shock of cold water Saturday at the Polar Bear Plunge at Prescott Racquet Club. The dip in a the cold pool was part of a chili cook-off that raised funds for The Launch Pad.

Les Bowen/The Daily Courier<br> Sue Rose Sena, Carson Sena, Michael Yarnes, Brian Lemke, Keith Lemke, Donna Casey, Emily Thompson and David Lemke feel the shock of cold water Saturday at the Polar Bear Plunge at Prescott Racquet Club. The dip in a the cold pool was part of a chili cook-off that raised funds for The Launch Pad.

PRESCOTT - The water was cold to say the least as 10 brave souls jumped in the pool at Prescott Racquet Club on Saturday afternoon."It's OK if you jump in and right back out," said Brian Lemke, owner of Tortoise Shell Café and event organizer.To his left, Sage Johnson and Brekyn Waples demonstrated just how cold the water was by lifting one of the ice sheets that floated on the surface.Sure enough, no one was in the pool for more than a few seconds as participants grabbed towels and headed back indoors.The Polar Bear Plunge was just for fun, but it was tied to a more purposeful event: a chili cook-off to support The Launch Pad.Courtney Osterfelt, executive director of The Launch Pad, explained the nonprofit teen center is an after-school program that runs daily from 3-6 p.m. The center provides academic tutoring and recreational activities as part of its daily program, and plans weekend events like dances, barbecues and movie nights.Lemke said eight cooks entered their chili. After the cooks and tasters all chipped into the fundraiser, the event raised $275 for The Launch Pad.Georgia Massie won the award for best chili, a "swamp chili" with alligator meat. Follow reporter Les Bowen on Twitter @NewsyLesBowen