I am not sure what drove me to plunge. It could have been the money raised for charity, being in a college team building event, or maybe just to participate in a fairly ridiculous activity that Bend evidently took pretty seriously.
When I showed up at Riverbend Park it was mayhem, and the multitude of costumed-people only added to the chaos. Although it was deceptively sunny out, it was still cold. One by one I watched the teams do their collective plunges, and the suspense built. Finally it was the Central Oregon Community College team’s turn. We took our marks on the banks of the Deschutes, and before I had time to think twice, I was diving headfirst into the water. The crisp Central Oregon wind picked up as my frozen body staggered out of the river and I was chilled to the bone. My Bend rite of passage was complete.
Despite the shivering, which lasted long after I dried myself off, the plunge was a success. I can now say I am a true “Bender,” and I participated in an event that allowed the Associated Students of Central Oregon Community college to raise $2,781 for Special Olympics Oregon.