It’s that time of the year when freezing temperatures are ignored and the Mount Pleasant community takes a plunge for a worthy cause.
Throughout Michigan, 30 Polar Plunges are held annually to help raise funds for more than 19,000 Special Olympics Michigan athletes. Central Michigan University will host its eighth plunge Saturday at the Rose Pond, across from the Student Activity Center.
Kelly Berryhill, Special Olympics Michigan marketing and development secretary, said they do not technically charge to plunge, but there is a fundraiser amount of $75 to receive a first incentive T-shirt, with a donation being optional.
“With this event, most of our plungers are campus students,” Berryhill said. “I don’t know if students realize our affiliation with CMU. We have 400 events that are statewide, but our Special Olympics Michigan office is right on your campus. The Polar Plunge brings inclusion with everybody, whether someone has a disability or not.”
Registration starts at 10:30 a.m., however pre-registration is encouraged, which can be done online or on Friday at the Special Olympics office located on East Campus Drive behind Rowe Hall, lot 14.
At 11:30 a.m. the costume parade and plunging begins, followed by a post-plunge party that includes an award ceremony at Wayside Central at 12:30 p.m.
The Mount Pleasant Polar Plunge has nearly 170 plungers, but there is not a set limit and all ages are welcomed.
Andrea Rachko, law enforcement torch run liaison, said the annual event is great for participants and spectators alike.
“I think people come out and watch the plunge because it is something different,” Rachko said. “It is not your typical winter activity. It is an event that is different and unique for the winter. I think people plunge because its zany and courageous. Once people take their first plunge, they usually return the years after.”