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The largest group consisted of members of the Dawson County Women’s Club who brightened the dreary day with colorful costumes and big smiles.

Wee Books fundraiser makes a huge splash

By Denise Ray This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Photos by Denise Ray

An early morning crowd was not deterred by cold, drizzle, or wind as they headed into Lake Lanier Saturday morning, Feb. 23 for the 11th annual Leap for Literacy.

Participants included elected officials, members of civic organizations, teachers, and students and wore everything from bathing suits to grass skirts to Ninja Turtle costumes.

As emcee Warren King announced the “toe tappers,” “leapers,” and “ramp runners,” brave members of the local community entered the lake where water temperatures matched the 40+ degree air temperatures, according to Danny Thompson, director of Dawson County Emergency Services.

With Dawson County Emergency Services standing by, some walked in up to their ankles and others took a running start and dove in. According to volunteer Nancy McNeill, Wee Books, the organization behind the event, there were roughly 60 participants getting into the water.

Kilough Elementary School Principal Teresa Conowal, dressed as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, along with members of the school’s faculty, staff, students and parents came out to support the nonprofit.

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Dawson County Sheriff’s Department deputies (left) Jacob Crawford, Brian Canfield, and Zachary Stewart jumped while Sheriff Jeff Johnson (center), and Stewart’s wife cheered. Stewart said they jumped “because it’s important to be involved in the community.”

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Although the event was fun-spirited and entertaining, safety was a priority. Members of the Dawson County Emergency Services watched carefully from the boat ramp and in the lake. Shown left to right: Josh Warren, Justin Mitchell, and Shaun Benfield

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Dawson County Emergency Services Operation Chief Danny Speaks patrolled the lake where temperatures were reported to have matched the air temperature of 40+ degrees.

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Members of Dawson County Middle and High School Interact were the youngest leapers this year.

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