The Polar Bear Plunge is a Minnesota tradition, which started in 1998. The Plunge is presented by Minnesota law enforcement to raise funds for Special Olympics. The Polar Bear Plunge came to Duluth 2002, and in the last twelve years a total of 5,801 plungers have raised nearly $1,000,000.
This year’s Plunge will take place on Saturday, February 15 at 2 pm. There are currently over 890 registered plungers who have raised over $98,000 for the cause to date. Many of them are UMD students, faculty, and staff.
Coordinating the festivities is UMD student Kendra Eisenschenk. This will be Eisenschenk’s fourth plunge and her second year coordinating the event. She talks about the enjoyment that comes from the event, and the true reason behind why she does the plunge. “Hearing what a positive impact Special Olympics Minnesota has had on their [the athletes] lives, made me passionate about the cause and fueled me to encourage others to plunge in the years to come.”
A new addition to this year’s Polar Bear Plunge is the Duluth 5K, which will start at 9 am on the day of the Plunge. Registration for both events is online at www.plungemn.org, at the Pre-Plunge on Feb. 14 from 4 to 8 pm, or at Plunge day check-in on Feb. 15 at Grandma’s Sports Garden.
To sign up to plunge or to support someone who is, visit www.plungemn.org.
Written by Katherine Revier Feb. 2014