Third Annual Polar Plunge raises over $40k for Special Olympics

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Third Annual Polar Plunge raises over $40k for Special Olympics

February 27, 2013, Emily Morgan

${image-alt} Saluki Football players participate in Polar Plunge at Campus Lake

On Saturday, February 23, the SIU Chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) co-sponsored the third annual Polar Plunge at Campus Lake. The event was held to benefit Special Olympics Illinois.  

This year, 231 “plungers” braved the 35 degree water and were able to raise over $40,000, bringing the 3-year running total to approximately $100,000. The funds raised benefit 79 Active Agencies of the Special Olympics Illinois Southern Area 15, supporting more than 822 athletes competing in 10 Southern Illinois counties, including Alexander, Franklin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Perry, Pulaski, Randolph, Union and Williamson Counties. 

The Plunge is open to anyone, and both the campus community and local community come out to show support for the cause, many of them dressed in costumes. In the past, about two-thirds of the plungers have been students, and the percentage this year was expected to be about the same. SIU plungers included teams representing sororities, fraternities, RSOs, and athletic teams, while community groups included area schools, professional organizations, and families.

This year, the band So She Said performed live to keep participants entertained, and local restaurant Cindy’s Chestnut Café provided hot, fresh biscuits and gravy for the crowd.

Dr. Cheryl Burke Jarvis, Faculty Advisor for AMA and Chair of the Department of Marketing said,” I’m always amazed by the energy and enthusiasm of the participants. They come out in force no matter the weather, some come out year after year, they get in the spirit with costumes and bring lots of friends to cheer them on, and they have a great time doing something absolutely crazy like running into a 35 degree lake, all while raising amazing amounts of money for a great cause.”