St. Patrick's Day plunge benefits Special Olympics

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Polar Plunge at Lawson Arena

KALAMAZOO--The Western Michigan University community is invited to plunge into the icy waters of a makeshift glacial pool in Lawson Ice Arena on St. Patrick's Day Saturday, March 17, to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics Michigan.

2012 WMU Polar Plunge
10 a.m. - Registration
11:15 a.m. - Parade of costumes and plunge
12:15 p.m. - Award ceremony
12:30 p.m. - Lunch

Last year's WMU Polar Plunge raised $16,000 for Special Olympics. This year's goal is $20,000.

Anyone can take the plunge for a minimum registration fee—a donation of $75. Those who don't want to brave the frigid waters may collect donations to receive a T-shirt that bears the "Too Chicken to Plunge" logo and are invited to attend the post-plunge party. All plungers receive the official 2012 Polar Plunge T-shirt and are eligible for other incentive prizes, depending on the amount of money raised.

Visit somi.org to register, make a donation or obtain more information.

About the Polar Plunge

The Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge benefits Special Olympics Michigan, which provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for more than 20,600 children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

This will be the fifth Polar Plunge held at WMU. Members of the University and Kalamazoo communities have been securing donations to participate in the event. WMU President John M. Dunn also is expected to participate.

"From the president to the faculty and staff and especially the students, the Polar Plunge has found a great home with the Broncos," Tom Dowdall, development manager for Special Olympics Michigan explains.

A swimming pool will be filled with freezing water and set up on the ice rink on a wood floor borrowed from the Kalamazoo K Wings hockey team. The event is sponsored by the Western Student Association, along with Sam's Club, the Housler Restaurant Group, Papa John's and Kohl's.

The Polar Plunge is known for its zany costume contest, during which participants compete for the Golden Plunger Award. Other awards include most money raised and oldest and youngest plunger.