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December 27, 2012 - Brian Collins
Warren County Winterfest is a mere three weeks away and this reporter is thrilled. Ok, maybe not thrilled, but I'm definitely counting down the days until Saturday Jan. 19, 2013.

As "the new guy," I have taken on many stories that other writers in the newsroom have already covered and have passed on the second time around, this being one.

Winterfest is a three day celebration of all that is wintery in the hills of northwestern Pennsylvania...and I mean all.

Among the events is the Polar Plunge. It is exactly what it sounds like.

On Jan. 19, a flock of crazed lunatics with complete disregard for winter will risk hypothermia and temporary insanity to jump in Chapman Dam for what is sure to be the chilliest dip any of them will take all year.

I will be among them.

Yes, I, Brian Collins, have pledged my solemn allegiance to this annual event. In the hopes of helping out the local Salvation Army, which does so much for our community, I volunteered, being of sound mind and body, to do this event. It was also 50 degrees, sunny, and with no hint of snow around when I did so.

Now that it is in the lower 20's, there's nearly a foot of snow in some places, and much less desirable outside, I'm wondering what the heck I was thinking...

Well, I am a man of my word, so I'm hoping to see YOU there in a few weeks, as I plunge into the water in [costume yet to be determined] and emerge twice as blue as Papa Smurf.

If you're interested in donating to the Salvation Army on my behalf, feel free to call me at 814-723-8200 x621 or email me at


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