Local Polar Plunge fundraiser is Feb. 21 at the zoo

Special Olympics Ohio is looking for brave competitors for its 2015 Polar Plunge season.

This popular event, held on Saturdays during January, February, and March at locations throughout the state, is among the largest fundraisers for Special Olympics Ohio. All money raised by Polar Plunge events benefits more than 23,000 Special Olympics athletes in Ohio. In central Ohio, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, in Powell, has its Plunge February 21.

As part of the Polar Plunge experience, participants obtain monetary pledges and then agree to jump or slowly crawl (whatever the case may be) into the frigid waters of an Ohio lake or waterway or the special Polar Plunge pool, depending on location, to earn their pledges. Another opportunity to participate is "Too Chicken to Plunge." To participate, one raises a minimum of $30 and is awarded with a "Too Chicken to Plunge" T-shirt – as well the opportunity NOT to Plunge. Or, teams of chickens may be formed in support of favorite Plungers.

A minimum in pledges ($50, $75, or $100 depending on age and location) is required to participate. All Plungers receive a T-shirt, food, and non-alcoholic beverages at a Post-Plunge party. There are also incentive prizes for those who raise more than the required minimum in pledges. Individuals and groups are welcome to participate; personalized online fundraising pages are available.

Information and links to registration sites for all Polar Plunges are available at www.sooh.org or by phoning Special Olympics Ohio at 614-239-7050.

Special Olympics Ohio provides year-round sports training and competition opportunities for adults and children with intellectual disabilities, giving them opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy as they participate in the sharing of gifts and friendship with their own families, their peers and the community. Currently, Special Olympics Ohio serves more than 23,000 athletes throughout the state.