Plunge For a Purpose


Emma Couch

Emery Brown 23′ and Lucy Chiozza 23′ jump into the freezing water at the Polar Bear Plunge.

The Special Olympics of Memphis is a nonprofit organization that is devoted to providing year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities” (Special Olympics). The Special Olympics holds many fundraising events every year so they can continue to do their great work. Their biggest event of the year is the Polar Bear Plunge, which requires teams or individuals to raise money and then plunge into a freezing body of water. During the plunge, there is also a chili cookoff where chefs from all around can display their chili recipes. All the proceeds from this event go to the Special Olympics so that they can continue for years to come.

The event was originally held at the bank of the Mississippi River, but this year it has been relocated to Tiger Lane, the home of the Memphis Tigers. Lisa Taylor, the executive director of the Special Olympics explains, “Mud Island could no longer accommodate everyone.” This new location offers plenty of space for all the participants, featuring a custom designed pool for the participants to plunge in.

The North American chapters of the Special Olympics have over 32 million athletes. The Special Olympics in cities across the country hold this same event and are counting on people’s donations. These athletes are gaining access to programs they otherwise would not be able to participate in otherwise.

The Hutchison Polar Bear Plunge team raised enough money to sponsor four athletes for the entire year. The event was action packed with everyone eager to jump. Our Hutchison girls who participated said “the water in the pool was colder than the air.” Although it was cold, the Hutchison girls were eager to get involved and make a difference. Volunteering for a Special Olympics event will change both your life and the athletes’.