Sun. Feb 25th, 2024
The Annual Lake of the Ozarks Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics will take place with hundreds expected to participate later this month.
Crystal Schuster, Senior Director of Community Development for Special Olympics Missouri, says it’s an event that really takes a special kind of person to participate in.
“We have people that do it year after year. Some people just do it to check it off their bucket list and say they did it. But literally, that’s what it is. They’re jumping into the cold water just to raise awareness for Special Olympics and to raise money so that we can put on that programming for our athletes.”
The Polar Plunge here at the lake is one of nine other plunges held statewide for the cause.
A super plunge, jumping in 24 times in 24 hours, and a 5K strut for those who don’t want to jump into the water are part of the event.
The plunge takes place at PB-2 in Osage Beach and is set for Saturday, the 25th of this month.
OSAGE BEACH – The 28th Annual Lake of the Ozarks Polar Plunge and Polar Bear Strut 5K will take place on Saturday, Feb. 25. Brave men and women from around the area will don disco-themed costumes and swimwear and take “polar” dips into the Lake of the Ozarks. Their Reason for Freezin’. . . the athletes of Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO)! All proceeds from this year’s event will benefit training and competition for the thousands of SOMO athletes across the state, including right here in Central Missouri.
There is no age limit for the Strut, and the Polar Plunge is open to anyone 10 years or older who is a fan of having a good time for a good cause. The event is hosted by the City of Osage Beach and the Osage Beach Police Department. The Strut and the Plunge will both begin and end at the Lake of the Ozarks State Park – Grand Glaize Beach. Day-of registrations are welcome for both events. Strut and Plunge registration both begin at 9 a.m. The Strut will start at 10 a.m., and the Plunge will begin promptly at 2 p.m.
Back for the ninth year is the Pee Wee Plunge! This event is open to any child up to 9 years of age and will be held in the parking lot near the registration tent at 1 p.m. the day of the Plunge. There is a $25 registration fee and each “Pee Wee” will receive an official event t-shirt. If your Pee Wee decides to fundraise, and they raise $100 – they will receive a fun Polar Plunge prize as well. If you would like to register your child online, please go to somo.org/plunge, click on the LOZ link and choose Pee Wee Plunger for your registration type. For more info, please contact Crystal Schuster at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-469-7839.
“The Polar Plunge is one of my favorite events because it brings people from all walks of life together, for the same great cause – the SOMO athletes,” Schuster said. “It’s so fun to see the effort that goes into the costumes, and I’m always amazed at how hard everyone works to beat their fundraising totals from the previous year. It’s just an overall fun event, and it’s something that I look forward to every year!”
In 2022, Lake of the Ozarks Polar Plungers raised over $232,000 for SOMO athletes. Each participant must raise a minimum of $75 to take the Plunge and can earn incentives by reaching fundraising goals. This year’s goal is $200,000 and organizers hope to break the million-dollar mark across the state with 10 events.
No wet suits are allowed, and shoes are required.
The easiest and most efficient way to register and fundraise is online! Simply go to www.somo.org/plunge and click on the LOZ event to sign up. Be sure to email your friends and family to support the Plunge. Paper registration forms are also available at the SOMO Training for Life Campus – 305 Special Olympics Dr., Jefferson City, MO 65101. Mail or deliver pre-registration forms and the minimum $75 contribution to Special Olympics Missouri Plunge – 305 Special Olympics Dr., Jefferson City, MO 65101.
Plunging participants will receive an official Polar Plunge commemorative shirt, bragging rights for freezing your fur off, and free admission to the Pre-Plunge Chili Cook-off / Silent Auction. The Pre-Plunge Party admission for the general public is $5 per person. Participants can also receive incentives for reaching fundraising goals: $250 – Beanie, $500 – Robe, $1,000 – Speaker and $2,000 – Fleece Zip-up jacket and beanie.
SOMO is lucky to have one Plunge Ambassador helping out with this event. Our Plunge Ambassador for this year’s Plunge is Bobby Bates. Bobby is a SOMO athlete, and he has been working for months to help spread awareness of the Plunge!
“I enjoy being a part of Special Olympics Missouri, and I think the Lake of the Ozarks Plunge is one of the best ways to support our year-round program,” Bates said.
Polar Plunge sponsors include the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Mix 92.7, Cool 102.7, KS95, KRCG-TV, Lamar, Margaritaville at the Lake, and LO Profile Magazine.
For more information about the Polar Plunge, please contact Crystal Schuster at 573-469-7839 or email email@example.com.
Please Note: SOMO will be holding a separate Polar Plunge in Columbia on Saturday, March 11. We’ll be sending out more information on this in the next few weeks!
Special Olympics Missouri
Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO) is a year-round program of sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Thousands of athletes participate in 16 Olympic-type sports throughout the state. SOMO provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy as they participate in the sharing of gifts and friendship with their fellow athletes, their family and friends, and communities across Missouri.
SOMO is proud of our financial health, returning 78% of every dollar back to program services. We are privileged to be recognized with these honors: Better Business Bureau A+ Charity Accreditation, Guidestar Gold Level and Charity Navigator 4-star rating. Special Olympics was also recently named Morning Consult’s No. 4 most trusted nonprofit.
Thank you for trusting us with your donations, volunteer time and your goodwill.