Polar Plunge Celebrates 25 Years

December 21, 2023 Blog, Events, Featured, Press

Special Olympics Wisconsin debuts 2024 Polar Plunge campaign with inclusive plunge, anniversary celebration

Thousands of Special Olympics Wisconsin supporters across the state will be “Freezin’ for a Reason” at the 2024 Polar Plunge® for Special Olympics Wisconsin. This year’s slate of eight statewide events—plus an alternate plunge option—will celebrate 25 years of ice-cold memories. Additionally, Special Olympics Wisconsin will host the first ADA-compliant Inclusive Plunge in the nation.

“We are thrilled to celebrate 25 years of the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Wisconsin,” Special Olympics Wisconsin President & CEO Chad Hershner said. “We have some great new locations on tap for 2024, and we are working hard to elevate this largest annual fundraising event for the organization. This year especially, we want to recognize so many incredible moments across so many incredible communities—truly 25 years of unyielding support for our Special Olympics Wisconsin athletes.”

Three options for participation are available in 2024. First, and arguably most fun, Polar Plunger individuals and teams can jump in person across six Saturdays in eight statewide locations:

team wearing orange and black plunge from ice into lakePolar Plungers unavailable for an in-person plunge can still fundraise via the Alternative Plunge—a truly “create your own adventure” option. Dump a bucket of ice water over your head in the driveway, or take a dive on your spring break trip to warmer waters—all for a great cause. All Polar Plunge participants are encouraged to share their plunge via online form submission and by tagging SOWI on social media while using the hashtag #PlungeWI.

three women leap from ice into lakeThose opting out of an icy dip can become a Polar Pledger, still raising funds in support of Special Olympics Wisconsin athletes without getting wet.

For both Polar Plungers and Polar Pledgers, each individual reaching the minimum fundraising fee of $100 is eligible for incentives. This year’s prizes include a collectible long sleeve t-shirt, socks, towel, blanket, and Bluetooth speaker—all branded with Special Olympics Wisconsin or 25 Years of Polar Plunge logos.

Also new in 2024, the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Wisconsin will host its first ever Inclusive Plunge. Using its ramp-entry lap pool, the Whitewater Aquatic Center will provide a unique Plunge experience for those with accessibility considerations. More information about the Inclusive Plunge will be announced at a later date.

All funds raised for this unique winter tradition helps thousands of statewide athletes train and compete in sporting events, supports year-round health and wellness programming, promotes inclusion in schools, and equips individuals with intellectual disabilities training and leadership tools to become important contributors within their own communities.

More information, including event registration for each location and participation options, can be found at PlungeWI.org. Pre-registrations are highly encouraged, but on-site day-of registration will also be available.

seven people leap from ice into river

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