Special Olympics plans at-home polar plunge fundraiser
Special Olympics Pennsylvania announces a new at-home fundraising challenge this year – the “Burrr-tual” (Virtual) Polar Pop.
This fun spin on a traditional polar plunge invites people to sign-up, pop a balloon of icy cold water over their heads, share their pop experience via social media, and challenge their friends and family to participate, all to raise funds for Special Olympics PA athletes.
This year’s statewide virtual effort takes the place of the local polar plunge normally held at Scott Park in Easton, but virtual plungers can still support Special Olympics PA athletes in the Greater Lehigh Valley Pocono Region, which serves Berks, Bethlehem City, Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton and Schuylkill counties.
Participants can register as an individual or, better yet, join a group of friends to form a team. All “burrr-tual plungers” are asked to make a pledge and raise a minimum of $50 to receive an official 2021 long sleeved Polar Pop T-shirt.
Participants can earn additional cool incentives as they raise more funds to support Special Olympics PA athletes.
If a participant wants to support the athletes without popping a balloon of icy cold water over their head, they can register as a “Hibernating Bear” and make a one-time donation of $50. They will receive a special “Hibernating Bear” shirt as a thank you gift all while staying warm and dry.
Additionally students from throughout the state will participate in the Cool Schools Challenge to raise funds for SOPA’s Unified Champion Schools. This program promotes inclusion within schools by bringing together students with and without intellectual disabilities in Unified Sports training and competition, as well as youth leadership opportunities. Cool Schools participants will take part in a virtual “Pop-a-Palooza” event where they will try to set a record for the most popped water balloons!
All “burrr-tual plungers” will receive the opportunity to get creative with their challenge and submit their videos to win prizes for the most creative Pop location or costume. On Feb. 27 at 7 p.m., all participants are invited to come together virtually for a Polar Pop Celebration that will highlight various challenge videos, feature special guests, dancing and more.
SOPA typically holds eight polar plunges around the state, known as the Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley, Capital Area, Beaver County, York County, Erie and Winter Games Polar Plunges. However, due to the continued increase of COVID-19 cases, these plunges have shifted to an all-virtual event for the 2021 season. Polar Plunges have raised millions of dollars across the country for Special Olympics chapters; and, the events are held in conjunction with the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Pennsylvania.
Every “Polar Pop” donation will support year-round sports training and competition for Special Olympics PA athletes and will help athletes achieve their goals, live healthier lives, and have a sense of inclusion within their community.
Visit www.PAPolarPop.org to register or donate.
In 2020, SOPA opened the Greater Lehigh Valley Pocono Region, the state’s first regional office, to support programs in Berks, Bethlehem, Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton, and Schuylkill. The region offers year-round training and competition in 20 Olympic-type individual and team sports to more than 2,700 athletes. https://specialolympicspa-glvpr.org/