Supporters in Fort Wayne and surrounding communities will come together to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics Indiana before taking part in the annual Polar Plunge fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 11.
On-site registration for the event will take place at the Metea County Park Nature Center (8401 Union Chapel Rd.) beginning at 10 a.m., with participants lining up to take the plunge at noon.
Special Olympics Indiana’s signature fundraiser, the Polar Plunge is a series of exhilarating events held each winter where individuals and teams brave the elements by taking an icy dip to demonstrate their commitment to the cause. All funds raised by the events directly benefit more than 12,000 Special Olympics athletes throughout the state, giving them the means to train locally and to compete at the state level in a number of Olympic-type sports.
“We’ve been doing this a long time now, and most people are familiar with the concept—but I think the newcomers are surprised at how much fun we have in spite of the cold,” said Senior Director of Development Scott Furnish. “Whether you want to challenge yourself by taking the Plunge or you just want to support our athletes throughout the state, this is a great opportunity to get involved and to support what we do.”
Participants must raise a minimum of $75 ($50 minimum with a student ID) to plunge, with awards presented to top fundraising teams and individuals.
The event also will include an indoor “After Splash Bash” at the park, featuring a silent auction, costume contest, and complimentary food and beverages provided by Pizza Hut and Tim Hortons. Spectators and guests are welcome throughout the event, and can take part in the breakfast and additional festivities for a $5 fee.
To date, the Polar Plunge has raised more than $3 million in support of Special Olympics Indiana’s year-round programs and events, including a record $690,232 in 2016. More than 3,000 individuals are expected to take the plunge this year, with a total of 18 separate events scheduled in cities and towns across the state.
The Polar Plunge is presented by the Law Enforcement Torch Run to Benefit Special Olympics and is sponsored locally by Sweetwater Sound and Allen County Parks, with additional support provided by WANE-TV and Adams Radio Group. The events are sponsored statewide by Duke Energy, Graycor Industrial Constructors, Coca-Cola, Bluebridge, Toyota Indiana, Knights of Columbus, Psi Iota Xi, DePuy Synthes, Solid Platforms, Inc., and Taco Bell.
To learn more about the Polar Plunge or to register or make a contribution in support of a participating individual or team, visit www.polarplungeIN.org.