Polar Plunge goes virtual, Special Olympics of Illinois encourages plunging from home

Local News

NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — A longtime fundraiser for an Illinois-based non-profit is still being held, but in a different fashion this year.

Special Olympics of Illnois’ (SOILL) Polar Plunge is being held completely online this year due to the pandemic.

From now until March 14th, plungers are encouraged to plunge from home; rather than attend one of the around 20 statewide events, and post videos of their at-home-plunges online.

Gina Fasolo, Assistant Director of Media Relations for SOILL said at-home-plunges can range from a snowball fight, running through a sprinkler, or having someone dump a bucket of water on you, similar to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Fasolo said they don’t encourage anyone running into a body of water to replicate the regular event as trained rescue teams are on-site for those.

Since 1999, the Polar Plunge has been a huge fundraising effort for the SOILL. With the funds, the non-profit can provide programs and events for over 21,000 special athletes.

Fasolo said cancelling wasn’t an option they considered.

“We have generated more than 80,000 plungers and a little over $23 million in total over those 20-plus years of involvement,” Fasolo said. “It’s a very important event for us and our athletes.”

Fasolo said despite being completely virtual, plungers are on track to reach the goal of $1.5 million raised.

To sign up and plunge at home visit the Polar Plunge website.

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