Monday, December 6, 2021

Naples Big Dave Polar Plunge Celebrates 2021 With a Chilly Splash

Photos by Maria Lamb | Collier Drug Court participants and volunteers sharing their experiences before the Plunge.


2021 Big Dave Polar Plunge, Lowdermilk Park, Naples.

So many things you couldn’t do for 2020 with a lot of tradition and family celebrations being canceled or postponed.  

LuckilyBig Dave’s Polar Plunge in Naples is one New Year’s Day tradition that made it into 2021! Over two hundred diehards gave 2021 a splashy welcomethough not quite arctic coldthe air temperature at Lowdermilk Park, Naples, was 75 degrees while the water temperature was 71 degrees.  

Prior to the Splashthere was a brief ceremony with Collier County Drug Court participants, alumni and volunteers sharing their experiences in drug rehabilitation and how this program was a big help to them. 

Proceeds from the Big Dave’s Polar Plunge benefits the participants from Collier County Drug Court. They also volunteer at many of the Gulf Coast Runners events and also participate in many running events.  

The Annual New Year’s morning Dave Cranor’s 5K event which is usually a warmup event to the plunge was canceled. In 2020, fundraising for good causes and local charities has taken a hit as sports events sponsored by Gulf Coast Runners were canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. Though virtual platforms were offeredit was not quite the same thingpeople wanted to become engaged and connected in person!


And they are Off!

What is the Drug Court?  

Defendants who plea into Drug Court are placed on a period of probation to include 2 years of Drug Offender Probation, which is placed with a highly structured, court-based treatment program lasting a minimum of 12 months. It is a program of therapy and rehabilitation, rather than incarceration in the hope that they’ll break the cycle of crime and addiction and become productive members of societyaccording to Collier County Judge Janeice Martin. 

Collier County’s Drug Court is considered a national model and in March 2020, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals named Collier County Drug Court program a Mentor Drug Courtone of only eight such programs in the country to earn that distinction. 

David Lawrence Center provides treatment services which include access to case management, outpatient, inpatient and mental health treatment and peer support. 

Kudos to Big Dave Polar Plunge for supporting the Collier County Drug Court Program. Many participants came to support the program and symbolically dipped their toes into Naples Bay!  

Looking for a New Year’s Resolution? Get fit, be active and give back!  

Save the DateJanuary 30, 2021, at 8 AM. Run for the Paws in Naples to help orphaned pets at the Humane Society Naples. Run with your canine companion on a scenic, flat course around Naples Airport and have fun at your pace. Register at Gulf Coast Runners website:




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