Polar Plunge registration underway


Staff report



COLUMBUS – Special Olympics Ohio announces the lineup and site list for its 2016 Polar Plunge season. This popular event, held on Saturdays during January, February, and March at locations throughout the state, is among the largest fundraisers for Special Olympics Ohio. All money raised by Polar Plunge events benefits more than 23,000 Special Olympics athletes in Ohio.

There are nine opportunities across Ohio this winter to participate in Special Olympic Ohio’s Polar Plunges. The first 2016 Plunge is scheduled for Jan. 23 at Mosquito Lake in Cortland, Ohio. On Saturday, Jan. 30, plungers will be “Freezin’ for a Reason” at the Thirsty Pony in Sandusky.

Saturday, Feb. 6, is when Special Olympics Ohio and Special Olympics Kentucky team up for a Plunge to benefit the Special Olympics athletes of both states. The KY-OH Plunge is held at Joe’s Crab Shack in Bellevue, Kentucky. Ohio University will have a Plunge on February 13 at Lake Snowden and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, in Powell, has its Plunge Feb. 20. The Law Enforcement Torch Run Plunge, scheduled for February 27 in Geneva-on-the- Lake, will finish out the month.

The 2016 Polar Plunge season concludes in March as Grand Lake St. Marys in Celina hosts its Plunge on Saturday, March 5. Caesar’s Creek, in Waynesville, has a Plunge on March 12, while Indian Lake in Lakeview hosts the final Plunge of the season on March 19.

As part of the Polar Plunge experience, participants obtain monetary pledges and then agree to jump or slowly crawl (whatever the case may be) into the frigid waters of an Ohio lake or waterway or the special Polar Plunge pool, depending on location, to earn their pledges. Another opportunity to participate is “Too Chicken to Plunge.” To participate, one raises a minimum of $30 and is awarded with a “Too Chicken to Plunge” T-shirt – as well the opportunity not to plunge. Or, teams of chickens may be formed in support of favorite plungers.

A minimum in pledges ($50, $75, or $100 depending on age and location) is required to participate. All Plungers receive a T-shirt, food, and non-alcoholic beverages at a Post-Plunge party. There are also incentive prizes for those who raise more than the required minimum in pledges. Individuals and groups are welcome to participate; personalized online fundraising pages are available.

Information and links to registration sites for all Polar Plunges are available at sooh.org or by phoning Special Olympics Ohio at 614-239-7050. Also, watch for social media posts about the Polar Plunge events. Special Olympics Ohio can be found on Twitter (@SOOhio), Facebook (Facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsOhio), and Instagram (SpecialOlympicsOH).

Special Olympics Ohio provides year-round sports training and competition opportunities for adults and children with intellectual disabilities, giving them opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy as they participate in the sharing of gifts and friendship with their own families, their peers and the community. Currently, Special Olympics Ohio serves more than 23,000 athletes throughout the state.

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Staff report