Freezin’ for a reason: Polar Plunge raises nearly $60,000 for Special Olympics Virginia

RADFORD, Va. – Hundreds of people braved the cold New River for a heartwarming reason Saturday afternoon.

The Polar Plunge benefits Special Olympics Virginia through fundraising leading up to the event. This year, the Polar Plunge raised nearly $60,000 for Special Olympics Virginia, surpassing the organization’s goal of $55,000.

“It’s the first time we’ve hit the goal before the actual day, so it’s pretty awesome,” said B.J. Norris, who is Special Olympics Virginia’s New River Valley area coordinator. “The whole atmosphere around the fundraiser this year is higher than it has been in the past. It’s really exciting to see.”'

WSLS 10 raised more than $8,500 for the Polar Plunge, which was second-most among all fundraising teams.

The top team was the Virginia Tech chapter of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity, who raised nearly $15,000.

“It’s definitely ingrained into the Phi Sig culture," said Quin Lavey, a Virginia Tech senior and member of the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity. "A week into me being in the organization, they had me raise money for the Polar Plunge, so they get you started early with that kind of stuff.”

The money raised during the Polar Plunge will be used for a myriad of important costs within Special Olympics Virginia.

“Medical exams, dental exams, all of that is supported by efforts like this, both here and throughout the state,” Norris said.