MSBA President John P. Kudel, speaking to the crowd amassed for the 53rd Annual MSBA Conference of Bar Presidents on October 26, 2012, announced that he and several members of the Association’s Executive Board will participate alongside the members of the Young Lawyers Section (YLS) and Public Awareness Committee in the Maryland State Police’s 17th Annual Polar Bear Plunge, held January 26, 2013 at Sandy Point State Park on the Chesapeake Bay.
Each year, the plunge raises money to benefit Maryland Special Olympics. The event raised $2.6 million in 2012 and has raised over $22 million since its creation.
“I think the cause is worthwhile,” says Kudel in recollecting the reason for his participation. “I’ve always supported Special Olympics, and I’m hoping my involvement along with the involvement of the people I have coerced to plunge will raise awareness.”
Joining Kudel will be MSBA President-Elect Michael J. Baxter, MSBA Secretary Hon. Pamila J. Brown, and MSBA Treasurer Debra G. Schubert.
“Their participation adds a level of excitement,” says Michael Siri, a member of the MSBA Board of Governors and YLS member who regularly participates in the plunge. “It symbolizes that the event is not solely for young lawyers or members of the Public Awareness Committee, but open to all MSBA members, or anyone that wants to brave the cold water at Sandy Point.”
MSBA plungers have collectively raised upwards of $6,000 each of the last few years, according to Siri. The event requires participating individuals to raise at least $50. (Donations for the 2013 plunge can be made here.)
“Some years, the weather has been relatively warm,” Siri recalls, “but one year it snowed between two and three inches from the time we arrived to the time we plunged. The worst part is not getting in the water, but getting out, being wet, and the cold air. This event is for a great cause and well worth the two minutes of temporary discomfort.”
Kudel, who admits he has never plunged before, says he is mostly excited at seeing as many members and participants as possible at the event; secondary to that is holding and sipping a warm cup of cocoa after he emerges from the Bay in January.