Community members dive into the 10th annual Polar Plunge

Local News

It was a brisk dip Saturday morning for some ready to freeze for a reason.

This is the 10th year for the Special Olympics Polar Plunge.

Participants and organizations raise money to benefit Special Olympics and then jump or slide into the water. 

The event continues to grow and the athletes love seeing the support from the community.

Wes Darnell has been participating in the Polar Plunge since it started and he loves the experience.

“It’s good. I’m ready for it. It’s my tenth year,” Darnell said. “My favorite part of it is raising money for Special Olympics every year. I hope next year will be even more than 400.”

All of the money raised pays for Special Olympic athletes to compete in events.

“It’s amazing to get this kind of support,” North Texas Special Olympics executive director Mike Strickland said. “This event continues to grow every year, so it’s exciting to see that it continues to flourish.

“It’s awesome to see this fan support as well, all these people cheering on the athletes,” Area 9 Director Anjelica Lisauckis said.

Many of the schools have unified programs that partner with those with and without intellectual disabilities together. 

“I believe we have seven or eight schools that are represented here, which is pretty awesome,” Strickland said. “They all have unified champion programs at their schools and do a lot of neat stuff together.”

Lisauckis said she loves seeing all of the students come out to the event to support each other.

“It’s amazing seeing the students coming out and doing this instead of the regular ole community members, getting those students involved and getting their peers, their intellectual disability peers involved it’s awesome to see the support they have for them,” Lisauckis said.

With the continued support for the Polar Plunge, it will continue to grow and raise money for community members for years to come.

Strickland hadn’t got the exact total for the amount of money raised at this year’s Polar Plunge, but he estimates it’s about $9,000. 

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