By Chase Rheam
STILLWATER, Okla. —
As the freezing water hits Stillwater residents in those first few moments, they will want to remember that it’s all for a good cause.
The fifth-annual Polar Plunge takes place Feb. 2 at Boomer Lake. Committee Chairman Bob Weckstein said every year more people want to get involved.
“First of all, it’s a fundraiser for Special Olympics, but it’s kind of a unique and fun fundraiser,” he said. “It lets people get involved.”
Weckstein said approximately 30 people have signed up already to take the plunge, but he hopes to have 100. All who attend are encouraged to wear a costume, but it is not necessary.
“We saw some awesome ones last year,” he said. “We had guys in tutus and one guy dressed in pantyhose. We had a couple of coaches dress up in helmets and shoulders pads. There’s all kinds of crazy wigs and stuff.”
Special Olympics Oklahoma Special Events Director Jennifer Lightle said more than $15,000 was raised last year.
Stillwater had 89 people willing to take the plunge last year, she said.
“The Polar Plunge is a wonderful opportunity where yes, you’re getting crazy, you’re jumping in freezing water to raise awareness and money for Special Olympics,” she said.
Weckstein said anyone is welcome to come as a spectator or partake in the event, including businesses.
“We’re hoping to get a bunch of businesses to sponsor one employee and they can wear their shirt down there and be represented at the Polar Plunge,” he said.
Weckstein said his favorite part is seeing the reactions.
“Just watching the people’s faces going in and coming out,” he said. “The anticipation ... it’s kind of like when you take a Band-Aid off.”
This will be the 12th year the event has taken place in the state. The money raised locally goes toward local athletes, Lightle said.
“It also helps them as a person,” she said. “It helps all of us as people.”
For more information on how to participate, visit www.sook.org.