Big Bear Polar Plunge Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Hundreds of people are expected to plunge into the chilly waters of Big Bear Lake to raise funds for Special Olympics Southern California athletes in Inland Empire during the 10th annual Big Bear Polar Plunge on Saturday, April 2. 

Over the past nine years, thousands of people were freezin’ for a reason and raised more than $830,000 to help empower athletes with intellectual disabilities through sports, health, and leadership programs. While the COVID-19 pandemic will change how the event is run this year to keep everyone safe, it won’t stop people from showing their support for Special Olympics. 

During the Plunge, people will walk, run, and dance their way into the freezing waters of Big Bear Lake. There is also a creative twist to the fundraiser where “plungers” dress for success by wearing fun and wacky costumes! Although costumes are not mandatory, they are highly encouraged. 

When registering, plungers have the option to take part as an individual or as a team. For those who choose stay dry, they can attend the event as a “too chicken to plunge” participant, cheering on plungers from the warmth of the chicken coop. There is a $50 minimum fundraising commitment for all participants, and if people raise more than $50, they can win prizes and incentives. If people would like to support the cause, but are unable to attend in-person, they can make a donation to a Plunger, a team, or SOSC. 

At the heart of the fundraising efforts is the impact that the Big Bear Polar Plunge makes in the lives of SOSC athletes in Inland Empire. “All Special Olympics programs are free to the athletes and their families. For most families, participation in sporting organizations would be financially impossible,” says Calvin Lyons, President and CEO of Special Olympics Southern California. “The Big Bear Polar Plunge helps to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.”

A special thank you to the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) in Southern California, which is a grassroots fundraising program with more than 3,500 officers in Southern California championing acceptance and inclusion. LETR has raised over $1.5 million for SOSC through Torch Runs, Tip-A-Cop dinners, Plane Pulls, Polar Plunges, Clay Shoots, and more! 

For more information or to register, visit sosc.org/bigbearplunge or contact Abbey Leffler at aleffler@sosc.org or call 951-703-6502. 

Special Olympics Southern California  

Special Olympics Southern California enriches the lives of athletes and their communities through sports, leadership programs, and athlete health. Our free, year-round programs leads to improved health, self-confidence, and independence among athletes with intellectual disabilities and acceptance and inclusion in the community. Special Olympics Southern California has earned a four-star ranking from Charity Navigator for exceeding industry standards. This ranking is the highest Charity Navigator offers to an organization and is given because Special Olympics has demonstrated strong financial health and a commitment to accountability and transparency. Learn more at http://www.sosc.org. 

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