Taking a polar plunge to support Special Olympics

SO Michigan
What better way to plunge into a brutal winter than taking a plunge into your local pool or pond? Maybe not recreationally, but to raise money for a good cause.

Special Olympics of Michigan has scheduled its Polar Plunges for the year. The Polar Plunge is one of Special Olympics’ largest fundraisers. The plunge includes people jumping into an outdoor body of water during the winter.

Aaron Mills, Public Relations Coordinator with Special Olympics of Michigan, expects another year of success.

“It’s just kind of one of those things that takes off,” he said. “You see someone do it and you think, ‘Oh, I’d never do that,’ and then you get down there, your friend does it, and they say, ‘It really wasn’t that bad, it was fun and I kind of had some fun doing it.’ It’s just kind of like a domino effect that way; everyone gets in on it.”

Mills said he has been watching people do it for years, and he is finally ready to take the plunge this year.

By tradition, participants dress up in costumes, ranging from goofy to barely anything at all.

Mills said participants have to decide on looks that, hopefully, will turn them into less of an icicle.

“When you get a costume, you have to decide, ‘Do I want to wear more of a costume or do it, have more layers and look crazy jumping into the freezing water or is it best to figure out something a little lighter to wear even though it’s cold,’” he said.

The fundraiser is taking place in 30 locations throughout Michigan. Volunteers pay or raise $75 in order to take a plunge and get a free T-shirt.

Locations for the polar plunges can be found on Special Olympics of Michigan’s website.