About 70 brave souls have signed up for the 13th annual Polar Plunge, a fundraising event to benefit Special Olympics North Dakota.
The event, dubbed “Freezin’ for a Reason,” is planned for Saturday, Feb. 22, at Choice Health and Fitness, 4401 S. 11th St. Registration begins at 11 a.m.; participants start plunging at 12:30 p.m.
Among the “plungers” are 34 students from Schroeder Middle School. They are members of the school’s basketball teams; members of the local bantam hockey team also are participating, said Jena Pierce, director of development for Special Olympics.
The extreme sport experience calls for plungers to collect pledges, on behalf of Special Olympics and jump into a tank of frigid water.
Justin Johnson, a teacher and coach of Schroeder’s boys eighth-grade basketball team, first approached his team members about participating in the event, “and they said yes,” Pierce said. “Then the girls basketball team wanted to do it, and the bantam hockey team joined in also.”
The Schroeder students have raised $7,400, Johnson said.
Pierce credited Johnson and Jay Farmer, Schroeder resource officer, for “this incredible display of youth leadership,” she said.
“We wanted to do something for community service, and Special Olympics is a really awesome organization,” Johnson said.
Polar Plunge events around the state have been organized by North Dakota law enforcement as part of the year-round Law Enforcement Torch Run to raise awareness and to benefit Special Olympics North Dakota, which provides support for people with intellectual disabilities.