Many students will bear the cold in this year’s Polar Plunge event.
The event, which is part of Butler’s Spring Sports Spectacular and sponsored by the Student Government Association, aims to raise money to support training and competitions for 11,000 Indiana Special Olympics athletes.
Participants will jump in a pool of frigid water in winter temperatures to raise money for the cause.
Some will participate as part of a group while others will participate individually.
Each participant will swim across the pool, some in a variety of costumes and outfits.
“I find the event important because it is a good way to give money to a special community that is important in Indiana,” junior Rachael Essig, Polar Plunge committee co-chair, said. “The Special Olympics is so close to Indiana, and it is just a fun time.”
The committee is currently short of its goal of raising $20,000 for the Special Olympics but has exceeded its goal of 120 participants.
Essig said she expects more donations and participants to come in this week and on the day of the event.
As of press time, the event had 142 fundraisers and had raised $13,571.
“It is good for people to know it is the fundraising aspect of Spring Sports,” senior Lauren Gatchel, Polar Plunge committee co-chair, said. “[The Polar Plunge] is specifically about the Special Olympics, which is important for people to know.”
Many of this year’s participants said they think it is a fun way to raise money for a charitable cause.
“I am really excited to jump in the water this year,” said sophomore Abby Miller, who will be plunging as part of Delta Delta Delta’s Polar Plunge group. “I heard [the temperature] is supposed to be in the twenties that day, so I am curious to see how well I handle the cold.”
Junior Ali Harre said she is participating because it is for a cause she is passionate about. She has raised $120 so far for the event.
Harre said she previously participated in Special Olympics events in high school and wanted to do the same in college.
“I watched a video of last year’s plunge and the people’s reactions to the cold were hilarious, so I think it will be fun to have people watch me do the same.”
Essig said groups who are shy of their fundraising requirement will still be allowed to plunge. Students who raise the minimum requirement will also receive a Polar Plunge T-shirt.
“People should expect a cool atmosphere, a lot of entertainment, food and to have fun,” Essig said.
The Plunge will take place Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in front of the Health and Recreation Complex.
In order to take part in the event, students can visit the event’s webpage,
www.firstgiving.com/soindiana/12butler, to sign up. There is a $50 minimum donation for individual participants and $75 for groups, but the committee encourages participants to raise more.