Phi Sigma Kappa is partnering with the Special Olympics to bring the Polar Plunge back to Ball State on Saturday.

The Special Olympics in Indiana held their first Polar Plunge 19 years ago, and the event has continued to grow since.  

“We started Polar Plunge because it was a unique way to raise funds for our athletes,” said Julie Burkholder, the regional manager for the Special Olympics. “You always see 5Ks and golf outings, but we wanted to be different. Not many people ask you to jump into freezing cold water, but we greatly appreciate everyone who has joined us.” 

Ball State Polar Plunge 

Where: The Student Center 

When: 11 a.m. Feb. 3

RELATED: Polar Plunge raises over $8,000 for Special Olympics Indiana

Last year, Ball State did not host a Polar Plunge, but Burkholder and junior Kyle Hayes, Phi Sigma Kappa’s philanthropy chair, wanted to revive the event. 

“When I was in high school, I was a peer mentor for students with severe disabilities. I worked with special education students teaching them how to play numerous sports,” Hayes said. “This was a great experience for me, and the kids enjoyed it so much. It was rewarding to see their faces light up when they succeeded. 

“When I was given the opportunity to continue working for this cause and the Special Olympics, I could not pass it up. So I worked to bring back the fundraiser to Ball State.”

This year, there are currently 16 plunges scheduled across Indiana, including the plunge at Ball State. Over the span of five weekends, each event will contribute money to the statewide goal of raising $800,000 for the Special Olympics. 

Participants at the Ball State Polar Plunge will register in the student center and then be directed outside where a large, above-ground pool filled with cold water by the Muncie Fire Department will be waiting.

Following the plunge participants can change in the Student Center, and then join others in the festivity tent outside with a DJ, free food and prizes for those who raise the most money. 

“There are over 14,000 athletes that compete year-round in over 22 Olympic sports through the Special Olympics program,” said Burkholder. “All of the money that we raise is put toward the athletes so that they can have the opportunities that they do. None of them are required to pay anything, so if we didn’t have these events, they wouldn’t have the chance to do what they love.”

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