Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

January 14, 2014

Plunge supports Special Olympics

Diane Raver The Herald-Tribune
The Batesville Herald-Tribune

---- — The 2014 Polar Plunge and After Splash Bash is set for Saturday, Feb. 22, at Versailles State Park, reports Greg Townsend, Special Olympics Indiana – Ripley Ohio Dearborn counties delegation coordinator.

“The Polar Plunge is the signature Special Olympics Indiana fundraiser,” and 12 plunges are scheduled across the state. “Since its inception, Hoosiers have raised more than $2.7 million making the Polar Plunge the largest fundraising event benefiting Special Olympics in the state. Individuals and groups jump into the frigid and icy waters of Indiana, soliciting donations from family and friends – often dressing up in costumes to make this bucket list activity as memorable as possible,” the Aurora resident reveals.

Persons must raise a minimum of $75 in pledges to receive a long-sleeve T-shirt. Students, who are at least 12 years old, can participate by raising $50, but a shirt is not included. Heated changing tents are available to help participants stay warm before and after their dips in the lake.

For the first time, there will be a Pee Wee Plunge for children ages 11 and under. It will take place in a kiddie pool under the heated festival tent. The youngsters must have a minimum of $35 in pledges.

Runners and walkers who raise a minimum of $35 in pledges can join in the Polar Climb, a 5K run or 3K walk through the park. Those who pre-register at www.stuartroadracing by Feb. 8 will receive a Polar Climb T-shirt.

Spectators are welcome, and admission into the park and the festivity tent is free. They, along with the plungers, can enjoy music, vendors, Lions Club Food Den, basket raffle and face painting.

All proceeds benefit Special Olympics Indiana athletes in the community, giving them the means to train locally and to compete at the state and national levels in a number of Olympic-type sports, Townsend says.

“In the 40-plus years since its founding, Special Olympics Indiana has become a movement that is active in almost all Indiana counties, reaching nearly 11,000 athletes, 10,000 volunteers, thousands of committed family members and other stakeholders. Their daily, year-round mission is to provide sports training and competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The result is that lives change – not only the lives of Special Olympics athletes, but also those of everyone they touch. Indiana’s programs are known to be some of the best and biggest in the world,” he notes.

For more information about the Versailles Polar Plunge, persons can contact him at gtownsend@soindiana-rod.org or 812-584-6861.

Diane Raver can be contacted at diane.raver@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.

Special Olympics fundraiser Saturday, Feb. 22 Versailles State Park 11 a.m. - Polar Climb (registration begins 10 a.m.) 11:30 a.m. - Pee Wee Plunge (registration, 10:30 a.m.) 2 p.m. - Polar Plunge (registration, 11:30 a.m.) After Splash Bash follows To pre-register: www.soindiana.org.