Annual Polar Plunge benefits Special Olympics

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An iconic event will splash into Folsom Lake this Saturday morning as brave souls of all ages plunge into the cold waters of Brown’s Ravine for the annual Polar Plunge and 5K run. The event raises awareness and funds for the Special Olympics of Northern California. 

Polar Plunges take place annually in numerous cities to assist the Special Olympics in its mission to “encourage inclusion and change the way people treat individuals with intellectual disabilities.” This is the first year a 5K trail run has been added to the event. Participants can take part in the run or just take the plunge or do all of the above. All of the information on how to do so is at www.sonc.org.

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Saturday’s event is far more than a quick dip in the water that shows to be a brisk 49 degrees as of this week. It includes a variety of celebrations and activities for participants including a special lunch for registered participants and opening ceremonies that recognize the many area Special Olympics volunteers and participants for their contributions to the organization. 

The annual Polar Plunge is just as entertaining to watch as it is to participate as many plungers dress in costume to take their dip. Just prior to everyone trekking to the water, a costume parade and contest takes place that is judged for various awards.  The theme for this year is Super Heroes. 

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Individuals fundraise or pay $125 or more for the experience of plunging into the chilly waters and supporting some 24,000 Special Olympics athletes in the way of year-round sports training, health initiatives, education and leadership programs throughout Northern California. 

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There are different levels to participate in Saturday’s event. Many businesses, organizations and public agencies are known to form teams for the event, many of which take the plunge in uniform to show their support for the cause.  

Check in for Saturday’s event starts at the 10 a.m hour, followed by the pre-plunge activities and ceremonies.  For complete information on how to register as an individual or a team, visit www.sonc.org

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If you can’t brave the thought of chilly water, but want to support the Special Olympics, you can register as a “chicken” and enjoy all the festivities and incentive rewards, without taking the plunge.  

As of Tuesday Mar. 7, a total of 255 people have registered, 35 teams have been formed and 1,019 donations have been made totaling $74,158, nearing the event goal of $75,000.

Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and physical disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to 5 million athletes and Unified Sports partners in 172 countries. 

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Bill Sullivan
Author: Bill Sullivan

Bill Sullivan has over 25 years of professional journalism and content creation experience in which he has earned 37 professional awards. He is the co-founder/publisher of Folsom Times an All Town Media LLC product.