What’s the Polar Plunge?
The Polar Plunge Series presented by Westerra Credit Union in conjunction with Colorado law enforcement as part of the year-round fundraising of Law Enforcement Torch Run® events to benefit Special Olympics Colorado) is a unique opportunity for individuals, organizations and businesses to support Special Olympics athletes by jumping into frigid Colorado waters. During the winter months, there are several opportunities across the state to take the Plunge and be freezin’ for a reason: to support Special Olympics Colorado athletes!
Where can I change before and after the plunge?
We provide separate heated changing tents or restrooms for men and women. Volunteers will be at the entrance to monitor the area, but please note that neither the event committee nor Special Olympics Colorado are responsible for personal belongings left inside the tent that are lost or stolen during the course of the event. Leave items at your own risk.
There will also be a table near the entrance to the plunge site to leave items before you plunge.
How old do you have to be to Plunge?
There is no age requirement to participate in a Polar Plunge. Young children are welcome to participate, but that decision is left to the sole discretion of the child’s parent or guardian. Those under 18 are required to have a parent or guardian present at the event and sign a waiver at the event.
Is alcohol allowed at the Plunges?
Alcohol is not permitted prior to plunging. If you are intoxicated, law enforcement will not allow you to Plunge. Some plunges include an after party, during which alcoholic beverages will be available.
What is your event cancellation policy?
We reserve the right to cancel an event due to inclement weather. Safety of participants and spectators is always most important to us, and we work with local law enforcement to be sure conditions are safe for participants. Thankfully, with the help of these great partners, we have yet to cancel in all our years of the event (Fingers crossed!). If you cannot attend the event or the event is cancelled there will be no refunds. If an event were to be cancelled, we would still offer an incentive pick up option to participants, or allow participants to transfer to a different event.
How long does check in take?
We have streamlined our check in process, but can never predict when crowds will be heaviest. If available, we recommend attending a pre-registration event to make the entire process easier for you. If not, we encourage you to arrive early to check-in on the day of the event, bring the signed waiver that will be emailed to you in advance of the event and enjoy the Plunge atmosphere.
I have a group of people that want to Plunge together. Can we form a team?
Yes! Forming a team is a great way to motivate one another to raise more money for Special Olympics Colorado. When registering, select the “Create a Team” option.
At the actual plunge, your group will receive take a team photo before plunging. From there, depending on the plunge site, you will be able to plunge in groups of 5 to 10 at a time.
Will my Plunge team be able to jump in together?
Depending on the size of the plunge area, teams may jump in together. Depending on the size of teams, they may be split into groups and jump in succession. If you’d like to jump with others not on your team, make sure the stand in line with you, or sign up for the same time slot as you.
Will there be medics on-site?
Trained Dive Team and EMTS are at the Plunge site for anyone needing assistance.
What should I bring to the Plunge?
- A towel to dry off and warm up with
- Old shoes, aquatic shoes, etc. All Plungers must wear shoes to Plunge (EXCEPT IN THE DENVER PLUNGE, where shoes are not allowed in the pool). Please wear a pair of shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. Don’t forget to bring a pair of dry shoes to wear afterwards!
- A duffel bag, backpack, garbage bag, etc. It’s a good idea to bring a bag for dry clothes and your Plunge incentive as well as a plastic bag for your wet clothes after you’ve Plunged.
- Dry replacement clothes. After you’re done Plunging, it’s nice to have some warm and dry clothes for the journey home.
- Another Plunger. Recruit a friend, family member, co-worker or acquaintance and get them to take the Plunge with you. It’s always more fun with friends!
- All Plungers must wear shoes. Secured footwear is preferred—no flip flops!
- Do NOT dive or flip into the water. This is a safety precaution for all Plungers that is strictly enforced by the Dive Team.
- We advise you not to Plunge after drinking alcohol. Intoxicated people will not be permitted to Plunge.
- Wear a costume that’s appropriate and non-discriminatory. Anyone wearing an offensive costume won’t be allowed to Plunge.
- Leave valuables at home or with a spectator. Special Olympics Colorado is not responsible for items that are lost or stolen.
- Try not to run out of the water after your Plunge. Keep in mind that everything is wet and slippery. Be careful as you make your way to the changing tents.
What is the minimum amount that I need to raise to participate in the event?
All Plungers must raise a minimum of $75. If Plunging as a team, the team must raise at least $75 per person.
Students and SOCO athletes are required to raise $50 per person.
What incentives are available to participants who raise more than the minimum $75?
Incentives are distributed at the following levels and are based on individual fundraising totals:
- $75 — Long-sleeved shirt
- $250 — Long-sleeved shirt and TBD
- $500 — Long-sleeved shirt and TBD
- $1,000 — Long-sleeved shirt and TBD
- $2,500 — Long-sleeved shirt and puffer jacket
Upon registering you are given an option to opt in or out of receiving incentives. Please note that the shirt size you put in when registering is the size that will be used for ordering incentives.
Incentives may be earned through March 30th and will typically be ready by the end of April.
What is your refund policy?
Charitable contributions are non-refundable, and the minimum Plunge fundraising requirement is considered a charitable contribution and is therefore also non-refundable.
Who should checks be written out to?
Checks can be written out to “Special Olympics Colorado” or “SOCO”
How can I make a donation without submitting my credit card online?
You can make a donation by calling us at 720-359-3107. You can also bring a check (written out to “Special Olympics Colorado” or “SOCO”) or cash donation to the event. You can also mail in your donation to the address below. Be sure to include the plunger’s name and donor name so we know who to give credit to.
Special Olympics Colorado
Attn: Polar Plunge / participant’s name
384 Inverness Parkway, Suite 100
Englewood, CO 80112
Are donations tax deductible?
Yes! Our tax ID/EIN number is 84-0713739
My company offers matching gifts. How does that work towards my total?
Matching gifts are a great way to raise additional funds for your Plunge. As long as we receive the matching gift BEFORE the Plunge, we will give you credit for the donation and add it to your fundraising total. All you need to do is complete a request with your employer. They will have us verify your donation and will send us the matching funds if we qualify under their giving qualifications.
Will my supporters automatically receive a receipt, or do I need to request them?
SOCO will mail a receipt for all check or cash donors for whom we have complete and accurate contact information (name, mailing address). All donations that are made online via credit card automatically receive a donation receipt via email for any amount.
I can’t collect all my donations before the Plunge. What do I do?
As long as you have the minimum $75 by the time of the Plunge, you’ll be able to participate, and the remaining funds can be turned in later. If you receive donations after the Plunge, you can mail them to the address below. Please include your name and Plunge location.
Special Olympics Colorado
Attn: Polar Plunge / Plunger Name
384 Inverness Parkway, Suite 100
Englewood, CO 80112
Can we fundraise as a team?
Each plunger is asked to raise $75 individually. If you need to raise funds as a team please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
What to Expect?
- There are heated changing tents available for participants. Separate men’s and women’s changing areas are available, but spectators are not allowed access. If an individual needs to be accompanied for a certain reason, please explain to the law enforcement at the entrance of the tents to gain access.
- We do our best to keep our Plungers warm as long as possible. This means staying inside our heated changing/staging areas until its time to Plunge and limited the number of people in these tents.
- We do our best to keep the hole at a comfortable depth so that you don’t have to go under unless you want to. Ice and water conditions are never a guarantee, but know that we are trying to make it as painless and as fun as possible! (For adults, the water will not go over your head unless you try!)
- Trained Dive Team and EMTS are at the Plunge hole for assistance for those who aren’t strong swimmers or if anyone needs assistance.
- At pre-check-in and day-of check-in, Plunge volunteers will have access to all donations made online to your account. Any donations mailed in to the State Office are also included in this total.
- Plungers are responsible for bringing all offline donations (cash, checks) to check-in so that they can receive credit for those funds.