Polar Bear Plunge is offering students of Missouri Western to come out of hibernation and take a dip into this year’s event.
The biggest fundraiser the Special Olympics has will be put on by North West Region Area, to help raise awareness.
Many adults, children, and students will be taking part in this event to help raise money and support Special Olympic athletes. Students from Missouri Western and Northwest Missouri State University will have the opportunity to plunge on Feb. 16 at Lake Contrary in St. Joseph.
Unlike last year, the theme for the Polar Bear Plunge is Take a Plunge on the Wild Side. Students and athletes who plunge will be wearing costumes which interact with the theme. As a goal of $60,000 last year, this year St. Joseph has raised their goal to $63,000. There will also be 1,000 athletes in the Northwest Area who will be competing in the 21 sports that are offered.
Missouri Western student, Claire Busby, feels as though coming to the plunge will make the biggest difference.
“It’s super fun to see who you are benefiting,” Busby said. “Students can gain leadership opportunities, and see how the Special Olympics appreciate their plunge.
As well as the community supporting this event, Missouri Western organizations are taking part to help raise money for this awareness. Two sororities, a fraternity, and a general griffon team will be competing in the plunge for Missouri Western and Northwest will have five sororities competing as well.
Alpha Sigma Alpha member Lauren Prywitch said she set a goal of $500 and her sorority was able to reach $550. She said reaching over the goal that she and her sorority sisters set means so much.
“Special Olympics is our national philanthropy, so it’s really important to us that we participate and cheer on our sisters who are willing to plunge,” Prywitch said.
Ethan Kelly, president of Phi Delta Theta, said he enjoys being involved and helping out in the Special Olympics.
“I’m really passionate about this cause and I like to make special needs kids feel as though they are normal,” Kelly said.
Kelly also feels that students at Missouri Western should plunge because it’s a good way to help out the athletes and give back as much as possible.
“Just by showing up and being involved, students can give someone who isn’t asking for much, a lot,” Kelly said.
Volunteers and donations are welcomed the day of the event and students who wish to plunge must pay $75.