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Special Olympics Michigan Polar Plunge returns to Lansing for 18th year

Posted at 10:15 PM, Jan 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-30 22:15:19-05

LANSING, Mich. — On Sunday, Jackson Field in Lansing was crowded with people participating in the annual Polar Plunge.

This year marks the 18th year of the Polar Plunge, which raises money for the athletes of Special Olympics Michigan.

Each year, thousands of people across Michigan put on crazy costumes to jump into freezing water.

"Our law enforcement community has embraced this opportunity to be one with our community. This draws upon people far and wide to come together on one given day, raise some funds, do something wacky, and have a good time for the interests of our friends, family and neighbors with intellectual disabilities," said Chief Deputy for the Ingham County Sheriff's Office, Darin Southworth.

All of the money that's raised goes to the nearly 23,000 kids and adults with intellectual disabilities who compete in Special Olympics Michigan.

"Our first time plunging was me and my husband and we did it for our niece, Lauren, who has disability mitochondrial disorder," said Rikki Anger, a Mason resident participating in her second Polar Plunge.

"The cold doesn't even bother you, necessarily. It's just the heartwarming feeling that the kids that you did it for, the adults that you did it for, they can participate in this special Olympics," Anger said.

With their teeth chattering, people from all over climber the stairs one by one— ready to conquer the freezing water. As always, the dive team was present to make sure everyone was safe.

Special Olympics Michigan hosted over 30 polar plunges in person and online this year. The goal is to raise $1 million dollars.

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Tianna Jenkins

12:23 PM, Jan 12, 2021

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Tianna Jenkins

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