(DEAM LAKE) - On Saturday, February 18, dozens of hardy volunteers will plunge into Deam Lake at Deam Lake State Recreation Area near Borden - paying for the privilege of doing so. (Salem Leader)
It's the 2012 Polar Plunge, one of 11 Polar Plunges being held around the state to raise money for Special Olympics Indiana. Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competitions for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
This is the fifth year for the area plunge at Deam Lake, says Bobbi Bengelli, Director for Area 2. Following the plunge, there will be an After Splash Bash at the Mercy Providence Retirement Center. There will be a free lunch for plungers; the cost is $5 for guests.
Registration is from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. with the plunge at 11 a.m. To participate, each individual must raise $75. There will be awards for best costume, largest group, most money raised by an individual and most money raised by a team. Last year, more than $70,000 was raised through the efforts of 353 people who plunged.
"Last year, the water temperature was 34 degrees and two years ago, they had to chisel ice off," Bengelli said. "It's a very safe event. The state police dive team is actually in the water the whole time that the plunge is going on."
Although the plunge is intended to raise money to support the program, Bengelli said raising awareness is equally important.
"Our goal is to get plungers, but our true goal is to get more athletes into the program," she said. "That's what it's all about, the athletes."
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