At 73 years old, Scottsbluff native Steve Tando was one of the plungers in Saturday’s Panhandle Polar Plunge, an annual fundraiser for Special Olympics Nebraska.
Tando may be one of the oldest people in the state to have participated in one of these events, and joked with KNEB News that his own actions motivated his friends to urge him to jump.
Tando says 6 or 7 of them were having coffee, when Sheriff Overman was looking for more plungers. Tando says he noted that if they raised $100 at the table he would do it. Tando says within 30 seconds to a minute the money was on the table. So, he joked, “I opened my mouth, and there I was.”
The experience was not as traumatic as Tando had initially feared. He says it was cold but not as bad as he thought it would be. He says the worst part was getting out of the water and getting to the tent.
A total of 65 plungers on 10 teams raised over $14,000 in the 7th annual event by plunging into the icy waters of the North Platte River Saturday.