Eastern to host first ‘EIU Glow Polar Plunge’

Hannah Shillo, Entertainment Reporter

Panthers will be “freezin’ for a reason” Sunday night during Eastern’s first “EIU Glow Polar Plunge” near the Campus Pond. 

The event begins at 7 p.m. Sunday and registration to be a plunger starts at 5 p.m., although participants can register online at www.tinyurl.com/EIUglowplungers.  

Vanessa Duncan, Region I Assistant Director of Development of Special Olympics Illinois, organized the event and said this is the 20th anniversary of the polar plunge event.  

Duncan said each plunger raises at least $100 for Special Olympics Illinois, and that money goes to local Special Olympics offices. 

“(The donations) provide the free sports trainings and competitions throughout the year for our Special Olympics athletes,” Duncan said. “This is our biggest fundraiser of the year.” 

She also said this is the first time there has been a glow in the dark plunge in Illinois, and the event will be lit by black lights and glow sticks. 

Duncan said there have been talks of plunging into the Campus Pond, however the ultimate decision was to play it safe for the first glow plunge. 

Instead of plunging into the pond, Duncan said participants will plunge into a “plunge pool” that is tall enough to plunge in, but short enough to hop over. 

She said over 70 people have signed up for the polar plunge on Sunday, and while that is a lower number compared to the other plunges Duncan runs, she said it is a good start for the first ever Eastern polar plunge.  

She also said the Eastern plungers have raised over $9,000 of their $15,000 goal from online donations alone, and cash donations will be counted Sunday. 

There are certain incentives for plungers who collect donations at the $100, $250, $500 and $1000 levels, including a sweatshirt for everyone making the $100 goal. Duncan said her goal is always to raise $1000 because each person who raises that amount in donations is entered into a vacation giveaway to Jamaica.   

Hannah Shillo can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]