Plungers Raise $1.1 million at Polar Plunge® Winter Festival

3522 champions dashed into the icy Atlantic at the 2014 Polar Plunge® Winter Festival in Virginia Beach today, raising more than $1.1 million ($ and counting) for Special Olympics Virginia! We’re certain you heard them ROAR with excitement as they splashed down at 2:30 pm with 100+ Special Olympics Virginia athletes leading the charge. Proceeds from the annual fundraiser help provide year-round support to more than 13,000 Special Olympics athletes and 20,000 volunteers across Virginia.

“Raising one million dollars for the fourth year in a row is incredible,” said Rick Jeffrey, Special Olympics Virginia president.“More importantly, though, these funds will help us to build bigger, better, more inclusive communities across the state of Virginia.”

The 2014 Polar Plunge® Winter Festival, presented by WTKR NewsChannel 3, 106.9 the FOX, FM99, Wawa, WGNT, Virginia Natural Gas, Booz Allen Hamilton, Walmart, Lamar Outdoor Advertising and the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Virginia, kicked off Friday with the Cool School Challenge, followed Saturday by the Plunge 5K, a brand new sand volleyball tournament, the Pee-Wee Plunge and of course, the main event. Special thanks to the many groups who helped us take the Plunge to cool new heights this year, including:

  • 472 local students raised $93,552 and took the icy dip into the Atlantic Friday, Feb. 7 during the fourth Cool School Challenge, presented by Walmart, WTKR NewsChannel 3 and Free Agents Marketing.The top fundraising team, Plaza Middle School, not only took home some great incentives, but four students also will get to anchor the morning news on WGNT, powered by WTKR NewsChannel 3, this spring!
  • 994 people got cold feet for a great cause and raised more than $41,000 during the fifth annual Polar Plunge 5K, presented by the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Virginia and Tropical Smoothie, Saturday morning.
  • 29 “Pee-Wees” age 10 and under plunged into a “cool” kiddiepool Saturday afternoon, and raised almost $4,000.
  • Kevin Vogt of Stafford took home the individual fundraising prize with more than $7,250 raised.
  • More than 120 Special Olympics athletes and family members from the Fredericksburg area took home the Top Team fundraising award, with $68,000+ raised.
  • Special Olympics Virginia President Rick Jeffrey took his first (and perhaps only!) dip into the icy Atlantic Saturday, after being issued a COOL challenge by now retired Chesterfield Sheriff Williams last spring. BRRRRific!

Gold level Polar Plunge sponsors included Hardee’s, Free Agents Marketing and GEICO. Photos of the 2014 Polar Plunge will be posted on the Plunge Virginia Facebook page as they become available. In the meantime, be sure to mark your calendar for the 23rd Polar Plunge® Winter Festival, set for Feb. 6-7, 2015.