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The Special Olympics Indiana Polar Plunge returning for 25th anniversary


The Special Olympics Indiana Polar Plunge is celebrating its 25th anniversary and will return to Memorial Stadium this Saturday, Feb. 24. The Bloomington Fire Department will fill up the pool in the eastern concourse for the plungers as they prepare to dive into the freezing cold water. All participants must raise at least $99 for Special Olympics Indiana to take the plunge and receive a T-shirt and cup.  

“All of the funds donated directly support over 18,000 individuals with disabilities who participate in Special Olympics programs statewide,” Madison Ferguson, Indiana Special Olympics regional manager and chair of the Bloomington plunge, said. “A lot of that goes to our sports programs, education programs, leadership programs, all throughout the state of Indiana, and a lot of it happens in Monroe County as well.”  

As an IU alumna, Ferguson hopes for additional student and campus organization involvement in future Bloomington plunges.  

“Just to give you a little bit of inspiration, the Butler plunge raised over $70,000 for Special Olympics at their polar plunge,” she said. “We should be doing that.” IU raised $20,835 at last year’s event. 

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With 19 events at 15 locations across Indiana running through March, the Special Olympics Polar Plunge offers a chance to challenge the cold weather for a charitable contribution.  

“It's a very fun event where people can kind of challenge themselves personally to do something a little bit crazy to raise money for really good cause,” Ferguson said. 

 Participants can still sign up for the plunge online or at the event, as long as they raise $99.  

With over 3,000 Hoosier participants over its 25-year run, and nearly 200 more signed up, this year’s plunge is the first back on campus since the COVID-19 pandemic.  

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