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polar plunge

Student dives in water at past Polar Plunge

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

Polar Plunge

Student group attacks the water in wet suits at past Polar Plunge

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

Polar Plunge

Students react to the cold water during Polar Plunge

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

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Annual Polar Bear Plunge fundraiser is Feb. 9

The Ohio University Police Department and Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity will provide the University with the opportunity to bare the cold and run into an icy lake, all in the name of a cause. The sixth annual Ohio University Polar Bear Plunge will take place on Saturday, Feb. 9 at Lake Snowden in Albany, Ohio.

Registration will begin at 11 a.m. and the event will take place at 1:30 p.m. There will also be an opportunity to pre-register at Buffalo Wild Wings on Friday, Feb. 8 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

"We encourage people to get involved because the event supports Special Olympics Ohio to raise money and awareness for individuals with intellectual disabilities," said Cathy Hart, a communication officer for OUPD.

Special Olympics Ohio (SOOH) is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing yearlong training and competition to more than 23,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The Ohio University Polar Bear Plunge is part of a state wide initiative to
raise money for the organization.

"It's a very fun event where you see people having a great time for a great cause," said Hart.

She has participated in the event for the last four years and intends to be among the "plungers" once again.

The first year there was a turnout of about 50 participants and last year that number shot up to 225. "We're getting a lot more participation," said Hart. "We're hoping to continue to build those numbers." The event coordinators are aiming to have 250 to 275 participants and raise $30,000. Participants must raise at least $50 to be involved.

For those who don't find the prospect of entering an icy lake appealing, there are other ways to support the cause. There is a "Too Chicken to Plunge" T-shirt, which can be purchased for $30. People are encouraged make a donation online, and attend the event to cheer on and support a plunger.

The theme of this year's event is titled "Under the Big Top." During the event, there will be a costume contest judging the best circus-themed ensemble.

"Feel free to come out and watch," said Hart. "It will be interesting."

For more information about the event, registration, or giving a donation, visit the Special Olympics website at www.sooh.org or contact Cathy Hart at hartc1@ohio.edu or Phi Kappa Theta event coordinator Cody Pyle at cp324909@ohio.edu.