Now is your chance to embrace your inner polar bear and take the plunge — if you dare — into a pool of icy cold water in support of Special Olympics Ontario and the Law Enforcement Torch Run.
For the third year in a row, the York Regional Police Association is hosting the event at its 600 Stonehaven Rd. building in Newmarket.
The 2019 Polar Plunge is billed as a Plunge under the Stars, and will feature a Hawaiian beach luau theme along with a dare to ‘be bold and get cold’ by taking the plunge.
“This is a fun opportunity to support Special Olympics Ontario athletes by taking a flying leap into very cold water,” York Regional Police special events supervisor Karen Richards said. “In addition to fun prizes and pizza, there will also be hot tubs available to warm up in after your icy dip. Every participant gets a polar plunge icy mug, and everyone who raises $150 gets polar plunge socks.”
Since 2014, the Polar Bear Plunge has raised more than $90,000 for Special Olympics Ontario athletes. Organizers hope to break the $100,000 fundraising mark with this year’s plunge, added Richards.
The not-for-profit organization has for more than five decades helped fund various sports programs for people with intellectual disabilities that promote respect, acceptance, and inclusion locally as well as around the world.
Here’s what you need to know to take the plunge:
- The plunge is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 21 at the York Regional Police Association building, 600 Stonehaven Rd. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. Then get ready for a 6:30 p.m. plunge
- Participants can pay $75 or fundraise $150 for the chance to jump into the icy water
- The grand prize of a Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0” tablet, with 32 GB will be awarded to the top fundraiser
- The highest fundraiser in Ontario will win tickets to a Leafs Alumni box at an upcoming Leafs game (date to be confirmed)
- If you raise $150 you will receive a pair of Polar Plunge socks
- Every polar plunger will get a Polar Plunge icy mug
- There will be live music and raffles to add to the fun
Tips for polar plungers:
- Wear your plunge costume under your outfit so you won’t have to worry about changing and will stay warm while you wait
- Carpool. Parking can be crowded, so come as a group, or take advantage of plunge shuttle services, if available
- Invite friends to watch, take photos, and pass dry clothes to after the event. There are restrooms/changing areas for your use.
- Leave yourself plenty of time to make it to the plunge location and get registered
- Make a fun and unique costume to plunge in the theme of a Hawaiian beach luau
- This is a family event, so be sure costumes are appropriate and do not cover the nose and mouth
- Be sure to share photos, videos, or YouTube links
- Proceed directly to the registration area when you arrive to grab your free registration gift and any cool incentive prizes for which you may be eligible
- Be sure to hand in any offline pledges/donations you have received
- Trained dive team and EMS are at each plunge for assistance
- Wave/plunge times will be assigned for each team/individual so confirm at registration
- Do not dive into the water. This is a safety precaution for all plungers that is strictly enforced by the dive team
- Do not run out of the water after you plunge as everything is wet and slippery
- Be careful on your way to the changing area, showers, pool, or hot tub, depending on the site. You are advised not to plunge after drinking alcohol. Intoxicated people will not be permitted to plunge
For more information and to get involved, visit here.
Polar Plunge 2019 sponsors include York Regional Police Association, Leslie Street Rentals, Canadian Disposal, York Region Hot Tub and Leisure and Armking Bulk Water.