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Highlander Polar Plunge to take place this weekend

By CALVIN PYNN

calvin@southwesttimes.com

 

The Highlander Polar Plunge Celebration will take place again as part of the Radford University Winter Weekend to help support the Virginia Special Olympics.

According to a news release from the Virginia Special Olympics, the group plunge will take place this Saturday, Feb. 15 at Dudley’s Landing in Bisset Park, near the bridge off Main Street in Radford. Check in will be from 10 – 11 a.m. and the splashdown will begin around 11:30 a.m.

About 450 people are expected to brave the New River’s frigid temperatures to support year-round sports programs for Special Olympics athletes of all ages.

“Last year, the Highlander Polar Plunge raised over $34,000,” said Corporal Emily Hite, of the Radford Police Department and Plunge Coordinator. “Our goal this year is to break the $50,000 mark.”

People of all ages are encouraged to show up in festive attire. Top fundraisers and those with the zaniest and most outrageous attire will be awarded prizes.

For a minimum donation of $30, anyone can participate in the plunge. Those who raise $50 will receive a t-shirt, and those who raise $250 will receive a Polar Plunge Towel.

The Highlander Polar Plunge Celebration is open to the entire community, including Radford University alumni, area college students, and anyone that wants to come out and help to raise money for the Special Olympics. According to the release, this event continues to be popular with campus and community groups.

Currently leading the team fundraising challenge is the “Frozen Jr. Margaritas ” comprised of Blacksburg Junior Women’s Club.

Closely following them are Phi Sigma Kappa, and VTTIcbreakers. According to the release, many new and returning Greek Organizations are bringing teams to test the chilling waters of the New River.

Not far behind are the  “Chillbillies,” a Virginia Tech group of coworkers, family and friends who also happen to be Radford alumni.

Radford Police Chief Don Goodman will also take the plunge for the 5th year in a row.

The New River Valley Water Rescue and Recovery Team will be on sight to make sure everyone is safe during the event.

Those interested in participating and raising funds can register at www.polarplunge.com. For more information, email swoffice@specialolympicsva.org or call 540-951-2918.

To learn more about the Special Olympics, please visit www.facebook.com/HighlanderPolarPlunge, www.facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsVASWRegion or on twitter at @HighlandrPlunge.

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