GENERAL EVENT QUESTIONS
WHAT IS THE POLAR PLUNGE?
The Polar Plunge is a unique community event where individuals, the community and businesses support Special Olympics by raising funds and jumping into cold bodies of water in the middle of winter. There are currently 12 Polar Plunges taking place in Northern California during February and March. If cold water is not your thing, you can register as a chicken. And did we mention that costumes are encouraged?
WHY SHOULD I PARTICIPATE?
The funds raised will help Special Olympics continue to positively impact the lives of children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Our sports programs encourage self-confidence and self-esteem, while our schools programs promote acceptance and respect for everyone. Through our Healthy Athletes program, athletes are educated on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. All our services are provided free of charge which is why your support is so important.
HOW DO I REGISTER?
Click on Register and follow the easy steps to complete the registration process. You can join as an individual, start a team and be a team captain, or join a team that is already created.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO THE PLUNGE?
Your courage and sense of fun! You will want to wear some type of water shoe. Don't forget to bring a towel and a change of clothes too! We don't recommend that your change of clothes have lots of buttons or zippers because they are the last thing you will want to fumble with after you get out of the chilly water with fingers that are "bear-ly" functioning! A duffel bag or garbage bag to put your wet clothes in would be a pretty good idea as well.
HOW MUCH DO I HAVE RAISE TO PARTICIPATE?
We ask everyone to raise or pay a minimum of $125. As an incentive reward, you’ll receive a Polar Plunge long sleeve T-shirt and free admittance to the Plunge festivities. There are additional incentive levels - $300, $500, $1,000 and $2,500, so the more you raise the more you earn (and the more our athletes benefit)! If you are a member of a Cool Schools team, you need to raise a minimum of $50, however you will not receive a long sleeve T-shirt or the Polar Plunge meal unless you reach the $125 minimum.
IS THIS A SWIM?
Absolutely not. Participants run into the water, frolic around for a minute or two, snap photos then out of the water we go!
IS THERE A MINIMUM AGE REQUIREMENT?
Anyone is welcome to participate regardless of their age. However, those under the age of 18 years of age, must turn in a Polar Plunge waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian in order to participate. You will find the waiver on the Plunge registration page under Communication Tools & Forms.
HOW FAR DO I HAVE TO GO IN THE WATER?
That is completely up to you! Dip your whole body or your big toe, whatever you decide is fine by us! If you don’t want to get wet at all, register as a chicken. You’ll be excused from plunging but qualify for the same incentive rewards as our plungers.
DO I HAVE TO DRESS IN COSTUME?
Heck no! But don’t be surprised if the majority of participants will be. When else will you have an excuse to dress in costume in the middle of winter? If you’re part of a team, get in the spirit and come up with a team theme. The theme this year is 1960's so break out your love beads, bell bottoms and flower power and get ready to have a gas! Whatever you choose to wear, please keep in mind this is a family affair so plan your costume or plunge attire accordingly.
I HAVE A FRIEND WHO WANTS TO JOIN ME AT THE LAST MINUTE. CAN THEY REGISTER ON-SITE?
Absolutely! Walk-up participants are more than welcome. They can pay by check, cash or credit card.
DO SPECTATORS HAVE TO PAY TO WATCH?
No you are welcome to bring your cheering section to see you make a splash for Special Olympics! However, if they want to enjoy the Polar Plunge meal that will be served after the Plunge, guest lunch tickets can be purchased onsite.
DONATIONS AND FUNDRAISING
I HAVE RECEIVED OFFLINE DONATIONS. HOW DO I GET THEM CREDITED TO MY FUNDRAISING PAGE?
Up to one week prior to your plunge date, you can mail them to Special Olympics, Attention Plunge, 3480 Buskirk Ave., #340, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 and they will be credited to your plunge page. Donations you may receive the of week your plunge should be brought with you. We will have volunteers onsite who will accept your donations and be sure they are credited to your plunge page.
ARE DONATIONS TAX DEDUCTIBLE?
Absolutely! Our Tax ID number is 68-0363121.
HOW DO I SEND EMAILS TO ASK FOR DONATIONS, ASK OTHERS TO JOIN MY TEAM OR THANK DONORS?
The Message Center tool through our Plunge system can be helpful, but we can’t guarantee that the email won’t go to your recipient’s spam folder. To be sure your emails are being received in addition to using the Message Center tool, we recommend you send requests through your own personal email account. Think about including your fundraising page link in your email signature.
WHO SHOULD CHECKS BE PAYABLE TO?
Please make checks payable to Special Olympics.
DO YOU ACCEPT COMPANY MATCHING GIFTS?
Yes! If your company offers a matching gift program, please complete the necessary paperwork and submit it for a match. It is a great way to double the impact of a donation.
SOMEONE HAS NOT RAISED THE MINIMUM, BUT I'VE RAISED MORE THAN ENOUGH. CAN I TRANSFER SOME OF MY MONEY TO THEM?
No, we’re sorry. Money raised can’t be moved from one team member to another. Besides, we have some great additional incentive levels. You earned it, you deserve it.
CAN TEAM MEMBERS SHARE AN ONLINE DONATION?
Donations made online cannot be split between team members. However, cash and check donations can be distributed among team members. You will want to mail those donations in with a note of who should be credited and for how much. Mail to Special Olympics, Attention Plunge, 3480 Buskirk Ave., #340, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I RECEIVE ADDITIONAL DONATIONS AFTER THE PLUNGE?
Please mail them to Special Olympics, Attention Plunge, 3480 Buskirk Ave., #340, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523. Every dollar counts and will help us continue to change the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities.