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Anyone can jump in a lake. Doing it at Cowans Gap as part of Penn State Mont Alto’s Polar Plunge makes you a hero.

Polar plunge
The 2018 Mont Alto Polar Plunge raised more than $17,000 “For The Kids” in its first year. This year’s event is set for Dec. 8. Photo courtesy PSUMA.

On Dec. 8, the Franklin County Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association in partnership with the Mont Alto Alumni Society hosts its second annual Polar Plunge.

The plunge supports fundraising efforts for the student-run Penn State Mont Alto THON (Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon) group.

The event will begin at noon at the Cowans Gap Lake Beach area, 6235 Aughwick Road, Ft. Loudon, Pennsylvania. All funds raised will benefit the Four Diamonds Fund to fight pediatric cancer.

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Registration to participate is $12 per person and includes a free promotional T-shirt. Participants secure sponsors to raise money. They are asked to raise at least $100. Top fundraisers win prizes.

What is plunging? It’s a quick submersion, but waivers are necessary and must be signed in advance to participate. Safety personnel will be on-site during the plunge.

Hot chocolate, heated changing rooms, and a bonfire will warm plungers up after their plunge.

Plunging begins in small group waves at 1 p.m.

During its inaugural event, the Polar Plunge raised more than $17,000 “For The Kids.”

About Childhood Cancer

Around 16,000 children in the United States face cancer diagnosis annually, according to the Four Diamonds website. About 1,250 children younger than 15 years old will die from cancer this year.

Because of major treatment advances in recent decades, more than 80 percent of children with cancer now survive five years or more — an improvement since the mid-1970s, when the five-year survival rate was less than 60 percent.

In 1977, THON, now the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, partnered with Four Diamonds at Penn State Children’s Hospital and designated the fund as the sole beneficiary of its fundraising efforts.

Over the past 42 years, donations to THON have resulted in more than $150 million to fight pediatric cancer.

To register and learn more about the event, go to For questions about the event, contact AJ Stambaugh, Polar Plunge Chair, at or at 717-386-1780.

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