Taking the plunge for Special Olympics: Polar Plunge events raise money, awareness

Aurora, Ft. Collins events collect $127,000

AURORA, Colo. - Hundreds of Coloradans took the plunge into icy waters this weekend and raised more than $127,000 for Special Olympics Colorado. 

More than 800 participants came out to Aurora and Fort Collins and plunged into the waters that registered at 36.5 degrees. 

The Polar Plunge Series kicked off Saturday Feb. 6 at Lake Pueblo raising over $22,000.

It was just one of six plunges scheduled through March 5.

"We encourage our athletes to challenge themselves every day and to show what they are capable of accomplishing," says Mindy Watrous, Special Olympics Colorado President and CEO. "The Polar Plunge is an opportunity for people to challenge themselves and give back to a cause that is helping create inclusive and accepting communities where everyone can realize their potential."

Polar Plunge participants must raise a minimum of $75 or $50 for students and Special Olympics Colorado athletes.

Over the last six years, the plunge events have raised more than $1,477,000.

Here is the schedule for 2016:

Saturday Feb. 27

  • Denver - Denver's City Park (5K), 11 a.m.     
  • Denver Zoo-Plunge, Noon
  • Colorado Springs - Prospect Lake at Memorial Park, 1 p.m.

Saturday March 5

  • Boulder - Boulder Reservoir, 1 p.m.

This year, the Denver Splash and Dash is moving to the Denver Zoo. The 5K Run/Walk will remain at Denver's City Park, ending just outside the zoo by the polar bears.

Plungers and Spectators will have access to all venues free of charge with the exception of the Denver Zoo. 

Spectators will be offered consignment rates to access the zoo: $9.75 for adults ages 11-64 and $6.75 for children ages 3-11. Children 2 and under are free. 

Registration for each location is now open at SpecialOlympicsCO.org. You can donate or join our Denver7 teams by visiting Eric or Lisa’s Facebook pages. 

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