Jackalope Jumpers took the plunge Saturday in Riverton and raised over $1,600 for Special Olympics

Tweetie Bird and Sylvester won the prize for best costume at Saturday's Jackalope Jump in Riverton. Before they took the plunge, Tweetie (Roland Hancock) and Slyvester (Elise Geier) posed with with the youngster they were jumping for, nine-year-old Nathan Murrell. (Ernie Over photo)

Tweetie Bird and Sylvester won the prize for best costume at Saturday’s Jackalope Jump in Riverton. Before they took the plunge, Tweetie (Roland Hancock) and Slyvester (Elise Geier) posed with with the youngster they were jumping for, nine-year-old Nathan Murrell. (Ernie Over photo)

By Ernie Over, managing editor, county10.com

(Riverton, Wyo.) – There were 18 jumpers at Riverton’s Jackalope Jump Saturday in a fund raising effort for Fremont County Special Olympics. The event brought in over $1,600 as the jumpers lept into a 3,000 gallon inflatable tank of cold water.

The award for the largest group went to Fremont County Fire Protection District Battalion 1 of Riverton who brought 11 jumpers to the event, all clad in toy red and pink fire helmets and turnout gear. The best costume went to Tweetie Bird and Sylvester, aka Roland Hancock and Elise Geier, respectively. The prize for raising the most money as a group went to Riverton Special Olympics while the most individual cash was raised by Tweetie, errr Roland Hancock. The most money raised by an individual Special Olympics Athlete award went to Sherry Hawk.

As each jumper, or pair of jumpers, lept into the chilly water, the splashed water traveled up to 20 feet around the perimeter of the inflatable tank. The crowd of onlookers stood by at a safe distance. Only once did the crowd get dowsed, to screams of delight from the kids present

The event was staged at the front door of Riverton City Hall in the parking lot. The Riverton Police Department’s Explorer cadets were on hand to help and Chief of Police Mike Broadhead served as the Master of Ceremonies, announcing each jumper and the final awards.

A similiar Jackalope Jump will be held in Lander later this month.

Special Olympian Chris Hoosier made a splash at the event. (Ernie Over photo)

Special Olympian Chris Hoosier made a splash at the event. (Ernie Over photo)

Battalion 1 firefighters from Riverton had the largest group at the event, 11 jumpers. (Ernie Over photo)

Battalion 1 firefighters from Riverton had the largest group at the event, 11 jumpers. (Ernie Over photo)

The Special Olympics athlete who raised the most money was Sherry Hawk, who decided to to do a back flop into the tank. "OOOOOOOOOO it's cold" she said. (Ernie Over photo)

The Special Olympics athlete who raised the most money was Sherry Hawk, who decided to to do a back flop into the tank. “OOOOOOOOOO it’s cold” she said. (Ernie Over photo)