Kennett High School’s Earth Club members plunged into Brandywine Creek in 38-degree weather and came up with $400 in pledges for Brandywine Valley Association (BVA) on February 9.
Mary Transue, a junior and Earth Club president, took her second Polar Plunge. “It is always fun. There is a rush of anxious excitement, and the money we raise directly affects our community.” Other repeat plungers included juniors Kyra Miller, Earth Club vice president, and Katie Spence.
They encouraged nine other Earth Club members to brave the Brandywine for its own sake, including juniors Amanda Bellino, Emily Cziraky, Monica McGuire, Brittany Meola, Chris Kienzle, Evan Jones and Emmet Devlin; sophomore Liz Dawyot; and senior Kevin McQuiston.
Many who gave Mary pledges cheered her on from the edge of the creek. “They were eager to encourage me in my seemingly daring endeavor.”
BVA was founded in 1945 after Clayton Hoff told a group of people that wastewater and thousands of tons of soil were choking Brandywine Creek, according to the association’s web site. They formed the nation’s first small watershed association. Since then, aquatic life and water quality have improved greatly along the 60-mile creek.
“There are many ways students can influence the school and community. I wanted to help the environment, one small step at a time,” said Mary.
In the past two years, the Earth Club has also recycled batteries, raised awareness of unnecessary energy use, helped at local gardens and preservations, and participated in stream cleanup, said Ms. Anne Carroll, club advisor.