Outlook: Ohio University News & Information

Polar Plunge scheduled for Feb. 13

Organizers hope local event raises $20,000
Jan 22, 2010
By Bethany Scott

Students and Athens-area residents will have the opportunity to brave the icy waters of Dow Lake on Saturday, Feb. 13, in the third annual Polar Plunge charity event at Dow Lake in Athens, Ohio.

The event is part of a statewide fundraiser for Special Olympics Ohio, a nonprofit organization that provides yearlong training and competition to people with intellectual disabilities. It is co-sponsored by Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity and the Ohio University Police Department.

Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. and a costume contest begins at 1:15 p.m., followed by the plunge at 1:30 p.m. After the plunge, there will be a post-plunge party at 2:30 p.m. at Buffalo Wild Wings. Free wings will be provided to participants.

This year?s event has a Mardi Gras theme. In order to participate, participants must donate at least $50. Prizes will be awarded to participants who exceed the $50 minimum. A ?too chicken to plunge? T-shirt will be available for $30 to participants who are too afraid to plunge. Special Olympics athletes will attend this year?s event to cheer on the participants.

Last year?s Polar Plunge raised $16,000, doubling the $8,000 that was raised during the inaugural year.

Raising money and awareness for Special Olympics is important to both the Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity and the Ohio University Police Department. Ryan Wright, event coordinator for Phi Kappa Theta, said people suffering from intellectual disabilities is common.

?I think that it really hits home to a lot of people because there is always someone who knows a person with special needs,? Wright said.

Cathy Hart, a communication officer at OUPD, said the Polar Plunge is a community event that everyone can enjoy whether he or she decides to plunge or not.

?I remember the first year we had a 70-year-old plunger and last year we had a 7-year-old,? Hart said. ?I just want to encourage everyone to come out and have a good time.?

Hart said people can participate in teams and those who are not participating can still attend and encourage those who are plunging.

In addition to the Polar Bear plunge, there will also be polar bear cut outs on sale for $1 at Crossroads Convenience Store and Buffalo Wild Wings. All proceeds will go directly to Special Olympics.

For more information on the Polar Bear Plunge or to register visit the Special Olympics Web site at www.sooh.org* or contact Ryan Wright at 740-418-1755 or rw142806@ohio.edu.


* Following this link takes you outside Ohio University's Web site.


Published: Jan 22, 2010 9:33 AM

PolarPlunge08_orange cap

Zach White, a Phi Kappa Theta, smiles before taking the plunge at Dow Lake in Athens, Ohio.

PolarPlunge08 pic

The women's club soccer team enters the freezing cold water during a previous Polar Plunge at Dow Lake.

Photographer: Kevin Riddell 

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