Special Olympics Polar Plunge season kicks off in Southwest VA

The annual event is the area’s largest fundraiser for Special Olympics Virginia

BLACKSBURG, Va. – In a few weeks, hundreds of people from across Southwest Virginia will willingly jump into the New River in Radford in February in support of Special Olympics Virginia.

The annual Polar Plunge raises thousands of dollars each year for Special Olympics programs and athletes.

The event is always a highlight for Nancy Morehouse, Southwest Region Director for Special Olympics Virginia.

“Oh we get excited!” Morehouse said. “That’s when we get our inflatable penguins out!”

The WSLS 10 News team is proud to take part in the Plunge for a fourth straight year. It is Southwest Virginia’s largest fundraiser for Special Olympics and ensures children and adults with intellectual disabilities have opportunities both on and off the playing field.

“It’s really about building community, and making our local schools, local workplaces a more inclusive place for people with disabilities,” Morehouse said.

This year’s theme, “Go for the Cold,” aims to inspire plungers to “go for the gold” when it comes to fundraising, with a goal of $72,000 this year.

“It supports all of our programs, from the the very local, grassroots level,” Morehouse said. “We have over 14 sports and many, many tournaments and competitions that our athletes participate in.”

As the Plunge returns to the New River in Radford, Special Olympics says if you get cold feet, this is one of the few times that is probably a good thing.

“We encourage everybody to get their family members or their classmates or their teammates and plunge as a team, and that makes it more fun,” Morehouse said.

The 2023 Polar Plunge will take place Saturday, February 25 at Bisset Park in Radford. Click here to sign up or donate.

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You can watch Brittny during the week anchoring the 5, 7 and 11 p.m. newscasts on WSLS 10 and reporting on news that matters to you.