By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
A dozen people took part in the annual Polar Plunge Saturday at Conchas Lake, braving frigid 33-degree waters in support of American Legion Post 19’s efforts to raise money to help veterans locally and nationwide.
Lynn Hudson, president Chapter 9 Legion Riders, declared the event a success.
Hudson said that even though it seemed fewer people made the plunge this year than last, early figures show the event raised up to $3,000 to support the American Legaion post and veterans.
This was the fifth year the Polar Plunge has been held at Conchas Lake. Many participants and spectators made it an early Saint Patrick’s Day event by dressing in bright green.
“There is always a good crowd who come to watch and chip in their money to help the cause, and watch those plungers go into the water one more time,” said Randy Block, a Chapter 9 Legion Rider.
Block said the money raised is used to help a veteran in need, preferably a local veteran. Persons who know about veterans in need may contact Post 19 with their information. The post can be reached by calling (575) 868-4586.
Block said fundraisers like the Polar Plunge and a $2,500 donation from theElks Lodge in Tucumcari have helped Post 19 and the Chapter 9 Legion Riders fund assistance to veterans. Recently, he said, the Legionnaires purchased a service dog for a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Hudson said a portion of the funds also goes towards funding the national veteran’s support program Operation Wounded Warrior. She said the Chapter 9 Legion Riders will host a shrimp broil in June at Post 19 and all of the funds raised will go to Operation Wounded Warrior.