Triathletes Plunge into Frigid Lake Ray Hubbard to Benefit YMCA

Polar Plunge participants. | Image from Facebook

Members of the Rockwall Triathlon Club took a frigid “Polar Plunge” into Lake Ray Hubbard on Sunday to raise funds for J.E.R. Chilton YMCA’s Annual Campaign.

The club, which has over one hundred endurance athletes, took the challenge of diving into the lake’s chilly waters during a day where temperatures were in the low 30s; however, the water was somewhat warmer, at 53 degrees.

“Many of us swim at the YMCA, and we got to talking about how much fun a Polar Plunge would be,” Rockwall Triathlon’s past president and current event planner, Jill Knight, told Blue Ribbon News. The members jumped into the water two-by-two, some doing cannonballs, others using floaties, “Plunging two at a time helps avoid a bottleneck at the ladder trying to get out,” Knight explained.

YMCA members were on hand to lend their support for the team as well as serve as lifeguards.

The Rockwall Triathlon club participates in a number of activities, including an Aquathlon, Duathlon, Non-Traditional Events, Off-Road, and a Triathlon. The club’s mission statement “is to bring together athletes of all abilities with the goal of improving performance and enriching the enjoyment of the sport through teamwork, encouragement, and building community. We are all about having fun and encouragement.”

The J.E.R. Chilton YMCA is named after J.E.R. “Bob” Chilton, known to many as a “Renaissance Man” with a love for sailing, art, photography, and croquet. Chilton died in September 2021 in an automobile accident near his home in West Palm Beach, Florida. Chilton donated $2.5 million to the Dallas Metropolitan YMCA back in 2012, the second-largest donation in the 130-year history of the YMCA. Rockwall YMCA expansion was made possible thanks to Chilton’s generous donation.

The Polar Plunge is representative of the values such as integrity, responsibility, and good sportsmanship that Chilton believed in and that made him support the Y.

The Rockwall Triathlon Club raised $1200 in donations for J.E.R. Chilton YMCA. The money will be used to allow families access to the YMCA’s services regardless of their financial situation. “It was a win-win situation for everybody – our club and the Y,” said Knight.

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