Taking the Plunge: Special Olympics to benefit from March 13 fundraiser

By Mandy Mahan

The 22nd annual Polar Plunge event will be March 13 at 5:30 p.m. at the 13-24 Drive In.

The Polar Plunge is the largest fundraising event for the Special Olympics. “Plungers,” or volunteers must raise a minimum of $75 to register for the event, where they will jump into frigid water.

“It sounds crazy, but the money raised all gets donated to Special Olympics,” said Jen Smith, Special Needs teacher and Unified Sports director at Wabash High School.

Last year, the event raided more than $30,000. All funds raised by the Polar Plunge will help Special Olympics athletes train and compete locally and at sectional and state levels.

Smith also told The Paper of Wabash County that there is more than one way to participate in this event.

“There are so many ways to participate. If a person is brave enough to be a plunger, s/he can register online. If a person has an interest in donating to Special Olympics, that can be collected as well. If supporting is more a person's style, s/he is welcome to attend on March 13 at the Drive In and cheer on the plungers. It's a family friendly event, too, which is wonderful.” Online registration can be completed at https://soindiana.org/polar-plunge/. Event day registration is also allowed, and gates open for plungers at 5 p.m.

Spectators are also invited to stay after the plunging portion of the event for a movie at the Drive In. On par with the theme for the event, “sharks,” Jaws will be shown on the big screen.

“We are not planning to take reservations for the movie or sell tickets in advance,” said Buzz Lail, Director of Programs for Special Olympics Indiana. “But, we are asking for a per car donation. This is a fundraiser and we are renting the facility and the movie so we want people to donate. We will be asking for a $20 per car donation except for Plungers.”

This fundraising event was first started by officers who belong to the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics which is an organization made up of police officers from local, state and federal agencies who work to raise money and awareness for the Special Olympics. 

Posted on 2021 Feb 16