Quad Citians take the plunge for Special Olympics

A few hundred people take 'Polar Plunge' in Wick's Lake

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - The Seventh Annual Polar Plunge was held in Rock Island. About 200 people took the plunge in Wick’s Lake behind Jumer’s Casino.

Some hopped, some flopped and others simply ran in.

It doesn’t really matter how you do it, at the Polar Plunge they just want to have fun and help out.

"We not only raise money, but it really raises awareness about our program and the athletes that we serve and our mission statement. So, we just want athletes to be able to participate in any sport that they can, so that's why we offer it year round," said Western Illinois Area Special Olympics Director Cathy Betar.

The plungers admit the water wasn't that cold. It was 41 degrees, but they say it's really about giving back to the Special Olympics.

"It's so important that we have programs available to the athletes with disabilities and give them all the opportunities of any athlete in the world," said Tim Hoyt.

Tim Hoyt says he's been volunteering with Special Olympics for more than three decades, and this is his sixth year doing the polar plunge.

 "We really think this is a worthwhile charity, and we continue to do our best to volunteer whenever we can for Special Olympics,"

 Others are participating for the first time...

 "It was fun. It was neat to give back to the community, and do a little something for somebody," said a participant.

…and encourage more people to join in the fun.

"It's a good feeling. I wish a lot more people would do stuff like this for good causes. Get and do stuff for their community," said a participant.

Coordinators say they exceeded their fundraising goal, raising more than 52 thousand dollars.

The plungers we spoke with say they'll be back next year to raise even more money.

"Definitely. It's a good cause, and it's a good time... giving back something," said participant.

Our very own James Sears emceed at the event.        

He was brave enough to take the plunge and help out the Special Olympics.

 

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