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Charity is a dish best served cold.

Four days from now I will waddle into a frozen lake somewhere in the wilds of northeast Pennsylvania, all in the righteous name of charity.

You don’t have to join me. But if you want to support me from afar, well, your chance is now.

I don’t usually go in for solicitations; I don’t think I’ve ever written one on this blog. I have never liked asking people for money. Plus, the world is already full of solicitations, at work, home and play.

Tonight I’m breaking the mold, just for a second. (I won’t make a habit of it, I promise.)

I’ve signed up for a polar plunge-type event called the Paupack Plunge. It’s held on a man-made rural lake and summer getaway called Lake Wallenpaupack, known to generations of good-time visitors as “Lake Wannasixpack.”

Every year around this time, they carve a big rectangular hunk of ice out of the lake at a local marina’s boat launch. Groups of plungers take turns marching down the ramp and into the water, where they screech, frolic, shiver, turn blue and otherwise cut up.

The money the marchers raise benefits two volunteer dive-and-rescue teams that help keep the people of Lake Wally safe year-round. The money helps keep the divers trained and their tanks filled.

A few of my co-workers have done this event before. They made it sound like fun — or at least like something I could hold up, whenever I finally shuffle away from this mortal clambake, as an example that I once Lived.

So I bit down and signed up.

Weather permitting (and it might not), I will amble cheerfully into Lake Wally at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15, accompanied by a bunch of my new closest friends.

That’s where you come in, if you so choose.

If you want to sponsor me, click here and choose the “I Would Like to Sponsor a Plunger Online” link.

(Any amount is fine as far as I’m concerned. I’m not choosy, and I imagine the dive teams aren’t either. If you opt not to give, I won’t take offense; I know we all have limited charitable budgets.)

Your donation will probably never bring you a direct benefit. But there’s gotta be some sort of karmic payback for giving a hand to a pair of volunteer dive teams in rural Pennsylvania.

Presuming the water doesn’t kill me, I will bring back a full report of the day’s shenanigans, to be posted in this space.

That concludes the charitable portion of our programming. Regular blog-service will resume shortly. Thank you in advance for any consideration.

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