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Taking the plunge

Kirsteen Wolf
Chris Browning
The Broadside

Polar Plunge participants running out of the icy Dechutes River

After sweating it out on security detail, the Criminal Justice Club wrapped up with a dip in the icy Deschutes River.
The Club’s officers and its advisor Kathy McCabe splashed into the river to raise money for the Special Olympics at the Polar Plunge, Feb. 18.
“It’s a huge community outreach for us,” said David Mayernik, a captain and media officer for the CJ Club.
Featuring the largest membership on campus, according to its website, the Club has been part of the campus for 11 years and is known for its community service through Central Oregon. The club’s goal is “to improve not only ourselves, but our communities,” according to its website. “We (Club members) serve the public as students and hope to serve the public as police officers, parole officers and corrections officials. We are students, serving our community.”
Although the club is open to any COCC student, the majority of its members are majoring in criminal justice, aspiring  to become police, parole or corrections officers.
Club members have worked closely with local law enforcement and are currently raising funds for the Bend Police Department’s Honor Guard, which had its funding cut earlier this year.
“We also host several blood drives throughout the year for the Red Cross,” said CJ Club President Kenda Wannemaker.
Club members routinely donate blood four to five times a year, according to the Club’s website. Last year, members helped donate more than 140 units of blood, setting a new campus record. The Club also adopted College Way, which members help clean by picking up trash along the side of the road every year.
The 2011 Polar Plunge raised almost $70,000 for Special Olympics, according to the CJ Club’s website. For that kind of money, they braved the cold again.
“This is an opportunity for the students to give back to their community,” said Mayernik. ”And we have a lot of fun doing it.”
McCabe  offered a challenge to the Criminal Justice students to raise $2500 to get her to take the Plunge. This year they raised the money. McCabe, her husband and daughter all went in the water. McCabe realized the efforts it took her group to fund raise such a large amount of money.
“I couldn’t have been more proud,” said McCabe.

(Contact: Kirsteen Wolf at
and Chris Browning at



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