If you’re going to live in a city with four seasons, then you must enjoy all of them. Each season brings events and activities that are respective to the accompanying weather patterns. The summer? It’s swimming season. The winter? Well, here in Buffalo it’s Polar Plunge season!
Every year, 1000+ people gather at Woodlawn Beach to take the plunge. These crazed athletes are part of an even larger state-wide plunge effort that helps to raise funds for over 68,500 Special Olympics New York (SONY) athletes.
Already, upwards of 1000 participants have signed up for the Woodlawn Beach event, which is set to take place this coming Saturday. So far, $87,500 has been raised. According to SONY, “It costs approximately $500 to support one athlete through one season of training and competition. This event has raised $2,032,901 over the last decade, which has been able to provide 4,065 Special Olympic Athletes in New York the opportunity to train and compete.”
Currently, the Lake Erie water temperature is 49 degrees F, and the outdoor temperature should be a balmy 44 F degrees… not nearly as cold as previous years, but chilly nonetheless. In the end, it’s not about being cold, it’s about having a warm heart, which is why this event is so successful year after year.
2017 Polar Plunge
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Special Olympics New York
The schedule of events on Saturday include…
- 11:00am-1:00pm Registration inside building at Woodlawn Beach – registration is available the day of the plunge and all participants must register
- 11:00am-1:00pm Costume Contest inside the large, heated tent which will feature food, raffles and music.
- 1:25pm Polar Plunge warm up
- 1:35pm Check presentation inside the tent. Checks from Praxair and Brennan’s Bowery will be presented. (tentative)
- 1:40pm Award presentation inside the tent
- 1:50pm Niagara Falls RS Honor Guard to present colors
- 1:55pm Parade to plunge, starting from the tent and parading down the beach pathway to the water – The parade of plungers will be led by three different torches representing Law Enforcement on a Federal, State and Local level. Special Olympics is the charity of choice for Law Enforcement. Law Enforcement all over the world carry the Flame of Hope to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics. Current Special Olympic New York athletes plunging include Nick Zmuda, Carl Miller, Ron Warren, Mollie White, Joe Scherrer, Patrick Jordan and Michael Checko.
- 2:00pm Plunge
The Polar Plunge is a Law Enforcement Torch Run event. LETR is the largest grassroots fundraising and public awareness movement for Special Olympics, raising over $70 million in 2017 globally. This event is co chaired by New York State Police Staff Inspector Steve Nigrelli and Town of Hamburg Lt. Jim Koch.