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WKCYS board members, volunteers and children gather together to announce the program as the 2019 Polar Bear Plunge recipient. Photo credit: Allison Bueché

After careful deliberation from staff and outside community members, Presbyterian Mo-Ranch Assembly has selected the beneficiary for the 26th Annual Polar Bear Plunge. This year’s beneficiary is West Kerr County Youth Sports (WKCYS)—a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting the children of West Kerr County with sports programs centered around basketball. WKCYS also provides a summer program that allows the children of West Kerr County to congregate in a safe place.

Proceeds from the event will be used to purchase and install new bleachers for the children’s gymnasium. The cost of the bleachers is estimated at $25,000, and if any additional funds are raised, they will be applied towards a fund for the replacement of the gymnasium’s roof or concession stand.

“This is my first-year sliding, and even though the cold temperatures can be quite daunting, I’m so excited to a part of this amazing cause,” said Breanna Larsen, first-time slider and communications coordinator for Mo-Ranch. “After I heard about WKCYS’ gym bleachers project and saw the building myself, I couldn’t wait to sign up and get those kiddos the funding they need to rebuild their gym and essentially their safe haven.”

Participating sliders will raise funds for WKCYS by bravely sliding down the 35-foot-high, 116-foot-long water slide, straight into the icy waters of the Guadalupe River. In the true spirit of polar bear plunges nationwide, we encourage this year’s sliders to “be bold, get cold” for an awe-inspiring cause.

As their website states, WKCYS’ goal is to not only teach children “the fundamentals of basketball, but the fundamentals of sportsmanship, honesty, respect, and to show them how much they are cared about and loved.”  WKCYS’ main mission is “all kids play,” and they welcome any child in West Kerr and the surrounding areas to join.

“We are so grateful to be chosen as this year’s beneficiary. I started tearing up when Mo-Ranch called and told me the news,” said Debbie Barron, WKCYS board member and basketball coach. “This will be a great way to raise funds for our gym’s new bleachers and increase awareness about West Kerr County Youth Sports’ program offerings.”

Over $250,000 has been raised for local nonprofits from this event. Previous Polar Bear Plunge beneficiaries include Partners in Ministry, Christian Women’s Job Corps, Star Ranch, Hill Country CARES, Hill Country College Fund, Christian Assistance Ministry, Kid’s Advocacy Place, Habitat for Humanity, K-Star, BCFS Health and Human Services, Kerr County United Way, The Salvation Army of Kerrville, Kerr County Young Life and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

The Mo-Ranch Polar Bear King and Queen will be announced later and will involve a special crowning ceremony. Awards will be given to the largest fundraisers on an individual and team level basis on the day of the event. We will have a team fundraising award for the highest grossing adult team and youth team. Additional event awards will include the longest slider, biggest splash, slider farthest from home, oldest polar bear and best costume.

For questions or more information on how to become a slider for the Mo-Ranch Polar Bear Plunge, contact Debbie Barron at 830.896.0480.

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