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Polar Plunge set for Feb. 25 in Ohio River

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 LOUISVILLE - One of Louisville’s wildest winter events — the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Kentucky — returns for its fourth year at Tumbleweed on the Waterfront on Saturday, February 25. Once again the event is expected to bring more than 1,500 Polar Bears raising a minimum of $75 each ($50 minimum for Junior Plungers under 18-years-old) to take a chilly dip in the Ohio River.

 There is still plenty of time to sign up to participate in the Polar Plunge. People interested in taking the Plunge can register on-line at soky.kintera.org/2012louisvilleplunge, create their own Web page and begin raising money on-line immediately. Traditional off-line fundraising brochures can be picked up at area Tumbleweed locations or can be requested by calling 502-326-5002.

Everyone who participates receives an official Polar Plunge T-shirt and membership in the 2012 Polar Bear Club, and those raising more money can earn additional prizes. 

Any Polar Bear who raises a minimum of $250 will receive a chance to win a Carnival Cruise for two courtesy of AAA Travel. The event’s top male and female fundraisers are crowned King and Queen of the Plunge and once again this year the top younger fundraisers will be crowned Prince and Princess during an awards ceremony and receive a prize package.

Polar Bears can bring their donations and register the morning of the event beginning at 9:30 a.m. or avoid lines on Plunge Day and take part in the pre-registration on Thursday, February 23, from 1 pm-7 pm at Tumbleweed on the Waterfront.

 Walk-up registration on the day of the Plunge will run from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm. The opening ceremonies, including the annual costume contest will kick off at 11 am and the Polar Bears will begin hitting the water at approximately 11:45.

The 2012 Polar Cup will be awarded to the largest university or school group, largest law enforcement group, the largest corporate or civic group and to the top fundraising team. There will also be prizes for the best individual and group costumes in the costume contest.

All money raised at the Polar Plunge provides sports training and competition opportunities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities in Kentucky.

 The 2012 Louisville Polar Plunge is sponsored by Tumbleweed, Zappo’s, WAVE 3, 84 WHAS, 93.1 The Fox, Louisville’s GenX Radio 100.5, Radio Now 98.9, The Kentucky Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, CBS Outdoor, Watson’s Pools, Louisville Metro Government and AAA Travel.

Last year’s Louisville Polar Plunge was pushed out of the Ohio River for the first time since 2003 as high water forced the event to be held with Polar Bears jumping into a pair of pools set up in the amphitheater at Waterfront Park. The change didn’t deter plungers, however, as more than 1,275 turned out, raising $357,000 for Special Olympics. The six Polar Plunges held in Kentucky in 2012 raised a record $780,000 combined. Since 1999, the Polar Bear Plunge program has raised nearly $5 million for Special Olympics Kentucky programs.