Taking the plunge for Special Olympics

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

It's getting very cold, which can only mean one thing: it's plunge time.

The Special Olympics is holding its biggest fundraiser of the year on Feb. 2, the annual Polar Plunge event, where crazy, civic-minded people don costumes and run into cold lake water.

This year's plunge will be themed "The Greatest Plunge on Earth." All proceeds will benefit some 1,100 local Special Olympics athletes in 14 counties, according to Penny Williams who organizes the event and is the Special Olympics Missouri development director.

So on Saturday, we can expect to see people in circus-like outfits. It should be an absolute blast.

Special Olympics, Williams explained, has a sports season, similar to high school athletics.

"Right now, we're in basketball season," Williams said. "It pays for things like their uniforms, travel costs, lodging that they may need, Special Olympics provides that."

At the time culture and entertainment reporter Joshua Hartwig reported his story, there were 10 teams and 122 individuals signed up to plunge.

The temperatures are supposed to dip this week to the coldest of the season, but it looks like temps will bounce back up to the 40s and 50s on Saturday.

No matter. This is an event we admire each year. Most of us will smile from afar at the photographs. But make no mistake. The plunge, and Special Olympics more generally, has a warm place in our hearts.

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