Jumping into a freezing pool or natural body of water in the middle of winter may seem like a crazy idea, but over the past 21 years, thousands upon thousands of Special Olympics Indiana supporters have risen to the challenge, braved the elements, and made our annual Polar Plunge a huge success.
In the winter of 2019, we set all-time highs when more than 3,000 plungers took part in our signature fundraiser and brought in nearly $900,000 to support year-round programs and events for our athletes. But with your help, the 2020 Polar Plunge Season will be our biggest and best yet!
Support Special Olympics athletes in your community and across the state by joining us for this extreme fundraising event for the warm at heart!
Learn more or register below, and check out our official Polar Plunge Calendar to find an event near you.
About the Polar Plunge
Special Olympics Indiana’s signature fundraiser, the Polar Plunge is a series of exhilarating events held each winter where individuals and teams brave the elements by taking an icy dip to demonstrate their commitment to the cause. Each Polar Plunge event has its own unique personality, with additional activities ranging from costume contests to 5K fundraising races and the always popular “After Splash Bash” — a celebration following each event where participants are recognized and presented with awards.
All funds raised by the events directly benefit more than 18,000 Special Olympics athletes throughout the state, giving them the means to train locally and compete at the state level in a number of Olympic-type sports. Thank you for Freezin’ for a Reason!
Three Easy Steps to Join the Fun!
STEP 1: Commit!
Make the commitment to participate in the 2020 Polar Plunge by choosing your Plunge and registering online at FirstGiving.
STEP 2: Fundraise!
Share the link to your personal fundraising page and collect cash and checks from people in your community. And remember, friends don’t let friends plunge alone! Be sure to get your friends, family, and co-workers involved.
STEP 3: Take the Plunge!
Bring your pledge form and/or a copy of your online pledges to your chosen Polar Plunge event. Turn in all offline donations, sign your waiver, and have a great time!
- Participants must raise a “bear” minimum of $75 for Special Olympics Indiana. All who raise the minimum are rewarded with an official event t-shirt, with additional Plunge Prizes and incentives available for those who go above and beyond.
- All participants must complete and submit a Release and Waiver of Liability.
- Participants must be at least 12 years old on the day of the Plunge. Those under the age of 18 must have a signature from a parent or guardian.
Need More Information?
Call us at 800-742-0612 or contact Scott Furnish with any questions.
Show your school spirit by participating in a Campus Plunge near you! Not just for students, these unique Polar Plunge events offer fun for the whole family — with a little bit of rivalry mixed in!
Join the fun and help your school compete for bragging rights and our traveling Campus Challenge trophy, presented to the top Campus Plunge each year.
Can anyone unseat our eight-time reigning champions from Purdue University?
High School Plunges
Hey kids! Can you out-shout, out-dance and outshine your rival schools? Get your High School Plunge team together and let your school spirit show! It’s the world’s COOLEST field trip, for a great cause!
After a successful first year in Indianapolis, we’re thrilled to offer even more opportunities for high schools across the state to be a part of our signature fundraiser. Get your school on board and bring a busload to take the plunge Jan. 31 in Boonville, Feb. 7 in Fort Wayne, or March 6 in Indianapolis!
*High school students and teams are welcome at any and all Polar Plunge events; participation in these special Friday events (during school hours) requires approval from your school’s administration. Funds raised via the Polar Plunge meet all requirements for participation in the Champions Together banner program.
The more you raise, the more we all win!
All participants who raise the $75 minimum will earn an official Polar Plunge long-sleeved t-shirt, to be presented on the day of your event. Additional fundraising prizes are awarded to those willing to raise a little more, with additional incentives earned at the $300, $500, $1,000, $2,000, and $3,000 levels.
Please note: All event t-shirts will be given at the Plunge. Some incentives will be available on site and others will be mailed. Prizes are not cumulative.
A little effort offers fun rewards! Special awards in the following categories at each plunge:
- Best Costume
- Largest Group
- Most Money Raised by an Individual
- Most Money Raised by a Team
Knights of Columbus District Challenge
- District with most plungers overall
- District with most funds raised overall.
Prizes will be awarded at the Knights of Columbus convention in April.
Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Super Plunger?
Only for the bravest of souls and the warmest of hearts, the Super Plunger program dares participants to go above and beyond the call of duty. Do you have what it takes to be one of Indiana’s Super Plungers?
Here’s What it Takes:
- Raise at least $4,000 for Special Olympics athletes across the state
- Plunge at a minimum of two Plunge sites, one of which must be the Indy Plunge on March 7
Here’s What you Get:
- The joy (and bragging rights!) of being a Super Plunger…and a TOP supporter of Special Olympics Indiana
- VIP treatment at our Indy Plunge, including special recognition at our final After Splash Bash of the season
- Our top fundraising prize — a custom Super Plunger suitcase!
Not Ready to Dive In? Be a Virtual Plunger Instead!
Virtual Plungers get the thrill without the chill and take the Plunge for our athletes without getting wet.
Whether you want to attend a Polar Plunge event or stay home where it’s warm, this is your chance to create an online fundraising page, earn fundraising prizes and awards, and make a difference in the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.
Sign up for a Polar Plunge event today and select “Virtual Plunger” during the registration process.
Five COOL Reasons to Take the Plunge
Join the #InclusionRevolution. Special Olympics Indiana is a nonprofit organization that works to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities in schools and communities across the state and throughout the world. Learn more.
State-wide impact. Since 1969, Special Olympics Indiana has grown to more than 17,000 athletes and Unified partners in virtually every county throughout the state.
Free, year-round athlete support. More than 10,000 coaches and volunteers help Special Olympics Indiana provide year-round sports, health, leadership, and education programs for children and adults with intellectual disabilities at no cost to the participants.
The money raised stays HERE. All proceeds from the Polar Plunge benefit Special Olympics athletes in your community, giving them the means to train locally and to participate in statewide programs and competitions.
Plunging is a blast! Dare yourself to take the plunge and have fun with your friends — while raising money for a great cause! It’s a win-win.
Dip Tips & FAQs
How Do I Raise Money? Polar Plunge pledges may be collected in person or online according to your preference. Some common strategies include sharing your personal FirstGiving link via email or social media and approaching family, friends, and even strangers to ask for support.
Do I Need a Team? Plunging as part of a group or team is always more fun, but individuals are more than welcome to join us in Freezin’ for a Reason! Groups of any size can register as a team, but only teams of 10 or more members are eligible for Team Awards.
What Should I Wear? It may be tempting to wear heavy clothing to combat the cold, but when it comes time to get in the water, swimsuits and light, fast-drying clothes are best. Remember to bring a towel/robe and a change of clothes. Water shoes or old gym shoes are also recommended.
What Should I Bring? Make sure to bring all cash, coins, and checks made payable to Special Olympics Indiana. Proof of online donations made through FirstGiving is not required, as staff on site will have access to those records.
Do I Need a Costume? Costumes are always encouraged but never required. If you do decide to take part in the costume contest, please be as creative as you like but make sure that your costume is appropriate for all ages. The contest winners at each Polar Plunge event will receive a prize.
What is an After Splash Bash? As a thank you to our generous fundraisers, sponsors, and donors, your local Polar Plunge organizing committee has planned a party in your honor! Activities vary from event to event, but you can expect music and free food/beverages for participants. Spectators and guests are welcome to take part in the festivities for a $5 donation.