Many call them crazy, insane, bizarre and even senseless. However, the people involved with the Polar Bear Plunge should be referred to as caring, compassionate, and kind hearted. These supporters risk hypothermia to raise cash for over 20,000 Special Olympic Athletes across the state. Many of us don’t want to imagine what freezing water feels like, but the volunteers involved with the Special Olympics look forward to jumping in the Susquehanna River every winter for a good cause. I understand it is nearly impossible to describe how cold that water feels this time of the year, but to put it in perspective, large ice chunks have to be dug out by construction equipment in order for the frigid water to be exposed for the event.
We have been involved with this event for the past 4 years and each year we have seen the turnout grow immensely. We have also noticed that year after year, more characters show up to take the plunge. As you can see from the photos, Batman and Robin, Superman, and Mickey Mouse were all in attendance. Last year included custom ice sculptures made during the event and an inflatable obstacle course for all participants and onlookers. This year they plan to have a Tug-a-War event for all teams participating.
This is the largest year-round organization devoted to sports training for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. By being a part of the Plunge experience, you are allowing thousands upon thousands of children and adults with intellectual disabilities to experience a brighter tomorrow. If you’re bold enough to take the plunge, visit www.sopam.org to register online. The event will be held on February 6, 2010 at City Island. Even if you are not risking hypothermia by jumping in the water, it is just as entertaining to watch a few hundred people splash around in freezing temperatures. Another great place to find them is their facebook site that features a large amount of photos taken by all the volunteers involved. We look forward to seeing a record breaking turnout this year.The photos shown were taken from the facebook site of the Polar Plunge during last years event.