ALBANY — The 2012 Ohio University/Athens Polar Plunge is scheduled for Feb. 11 and will be held at a new location — Lake Snowden near Albany.
According to organizers, the new location was chosen to accommodate the growing number of Polar Plunge participants. In years past, the event — now in its fifth year — was held at Dow Lake in Athens.
The OU/Athens Polar Plunge is held in support of the more than 23,000 Special Olympics athletes in Ohio, and is presented by the OU chapter of Phi Kappa Theta and the OU Police Department.
Last year, an estimated 300 people participated in the Athens event — running, jumping and swimming in the frigid waters to raise money for Special Olympics Ohio. About $33,000 was raised during the event in 2011.
Registration for this year’s plunge is being accepted from anyone courageous enough to be part of this “Freezin’ for a Reason” fundraising campaign. Those who may not feel as courageous may still participate by registering for the “Too Chicken to Plunge” activity.
As part of the Polar Plunge experience, participants obtain a minimum $50 in monetary pledges and then agree to jump into Lake Snowden to earn their pledges. To participate in “Too Chicken to Plunge,” one raises a minimum of $30 and is awarded a “Too Chicken to Plunge” T-shirt. Teams of “chickens” may also be formed to support favorite plungers.
Pre-registration and early check-in for those already registered is Feb. 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Buffalo Wild Wings in downtown Athens. Day-of-event registration and check-in is held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the plunge site. A costume contest is scheduled for 1:20 p.m., also at the plunge site. The plunge takes place starting at 1:30 p.m. A post-plunge party is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at Browney’s in downtown Athens (admission is free for plungers; $10 for others).
This winter event is among the largest fundraisers for Special Olympics Ohio.
Special Olympics Ohio provides year-round sports training and competition opportunities for adults and children with intellectual disabilities, giving them opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy as they participate in the sharing of gifts and friendship with their own families, their peers and the community.