Every year, Special Olympics Oregon teams up with Fred Meyer to host its annual Polar Plunge fundraiser in five Oregon cities: Bend, Portland, Medford, Eugene and Corvallis. The popular event attracts participants from different cities throughout Oregon to raise awareness and money for Special Olympics Oregon.
About Special Olympics Oregon
Special Olympics Oregon serves the largest disability population in the state and offers training and sport competitions year-round at no cost for its athletes. These competitions and training sessions aim to benefit and challenge participating athletes. Special Olympics Oregon offers 15 Olympic-type sports at 37 regional competitions statewide.
“Special Olympics Oregon’s mission is to provide year-round sports and athletic competitions in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other athletes and community.”
The Oregon Polar Plunge
Polar Plunge participants—also known as “Plungers”— must raise a minimum of $50 in pledges from friends and family to participate. The more money each Plunger gathers in pledges, the larger the incentive prize. On plunge day, participants run or jump into the water and get out as quickly as they can. If you’d rather not swim, there are plenty of volunteer and sponsorship opportunities for those who still want to participate.
This year, the Eugene Polar Plunge took place on February 7, 2015 in the Willamette River at Maurie Jacobs Park and raised $28,339. Participants and volunteers warmed up with coffee, hot chocolate and soup provided by the organization. Costumes were encouraged, not mandatory, but many participants chose to dress up and get involved. Twenty-seven teams participated in the 2015 Eugene Polar Plunge despite the rainy weather, and there were prizes awarded to the best costume and the team that raised the most money.
The 2015 Eugene Polar Plunge was definitely a fun and successful event for a good cause. Special Olympics Oregon will continue to thrive and serve Oregon’s disability community with help from the money raised from the 2015 Polar Plunge.
– Hannah Lowenthal is a senior public relations major at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. As a young professional, Hannah thrives in an environment that requires multi-tasking, strict timelines and budget management. Born and raised in the Los Angeles area, Hannah hopes to return to California and work in entertainment publicity after graduation in June 2015. Feel free to follow Hannah on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.