Polar Plunge to raise money for Special Olympics Saturday

Loren Dickson, Entertainment Reporter

It is that time of the year again, and contributors are ready to get chilly for a respectable cause.

Polar Plunge will start at noon Saturday, March 4 at Lake Sara in Effingham.

At Polar Plunge, individuals and groups raise money and take a dip into freezing waters to show support for Special Olympic athletes.

This event is meant to raise money for athletes so they can continue to have access to free participation in sports, food and drinks at events like the Polar Plunge, new sports equipment, and discounted rates at places like bowling alleys and skating rinks.

Area 9 Director for Special Olympics Vanessa Duncan said many of the athletes that participate have limited financial means, so it is important to make sure they can participate for free in events.

“They need this in their lives,” she said. “The health improvement, the social skills they obtain and the friendships they gain is very important.”

Participants must raise a minimum of $100 in order to take the plunge.

To raise money, many turn to social media in order to get the word out there by using the hashtag #PlungeFor.

“$100 seems scary at first, but if each one of your Facebook friends donated one $1, you would have well over $100,” Duncan said.

Participants can register at the event if they decide that morning that they would like to take the plunge.

“The plunge is at noon, but you could come at 11:45 a.m. and register if you wanted to,” she said.

They can also register and pay online if they prefer.

“If you do take the plunge, you will fall in love with it,” she said. “It’s always best to do it with a group of friends or family and just have fun with it.”

After everyone takes the plunge, there will be a party that includes food and drinks for each participant and prizes for the top plungers.

As of now, 278 people are registered to plunge this year, but Duncan said she suspects there will be well over 300 by Saturday morning.

The weather is projected to be at a high of 61 degrees on Saturday in Effingham, so Plungers might get lucky this year.

 

Loren Dickson can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]