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Freezin' for a Reason

Herald-Tribune - 2/6/2018

Supporters in Versailles and surrounding communities will come together this winter to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics Indiana before taking part in the organization's annual Polar Plunge and Polar Climb fundraiser Saturday, Feb. 17.

On-site registration will take place near the boat ramp at Versailles State Park, 1387 U.S. 50, beginning at 10:30 a.m. for the Polar Climb 5K Run/3K Walk and at 11:30 a.m. for the Polar Plunge. Runners will take their marks at 11 a.m., while plunge participants will enter the lake beginning at 2 p.m.

Special Olympics Indiana's signature fundraiser, the Polar Plunge is a series of exhilarating events held each winter when individuals and teams brave the elements by taking icy dips to demonstrate their commitment to the cause. All funds raised by the events directly benefit more than 14,000 Special Olympics athletes throughout the state, giving them the means to train locally and to compete at the state level in a number of Olympic-type sports.

"This is an opportunity for people who care about Special Olympics to make a difference by ensuring that we have the necessary funds to continue to grow and to serve people with intellectual disabilities in Indiana," said Scott Furnish, Special Olympics Indiana's senior director of development. "Plus it's kind of fun to challenge yourself to go outside your comfort zone and to do something a little crazy, like jumping in a lake in the middle of winter."

To participate, individuals must raise a minimum of $75 ($50 with a student ID) for Special Olympics Indiana, with awards presented to top fundraising teams and individuals. Participants can register as individuals or gather friends, family members, co-workers or others and register as a team.

Those interested in supporting the event and raising money without getting wet are invited to register as "virtual plungers" or to instead take part in the Polar Climb 5K Run/3K Walk. Details, fees and registration information for the run/walk are available at and

Persons with questions may contact event chair Greg Townsend, Ripley-Ohio-Dearborn Counties coordinator, at or 812-584-6861.

To date, the Polar Plunge has raised over $4 million in support of Special Olympics Indiana's year-round programs and events, including more than $750,000 in 2017. More than 3,000 individuals are expected to take the plunge this year, with a total of 16 separate events scheduled in cities and towns across the state.

The Polar Plunge is presented by the Law Enforcement Torch Run to Benefit Special Olympics and is sponsored by Duke Energy, Graycor Industrial Constructors and Coca-Cola, among others. To learn more about the Polar Plunge or to register or make a contribution in support of a participating individual or team, visit


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