What’s the Polar Plunge?
The Polar Plunge (presented by Minnesota law enforcement as part of the year-round fundraising of Law Enforcement Torch Run® events to benefit Special Olympics) is a unique opportunity for individuals, organizations and businesses to support Special Olympics athletes by jumping into frigid Minnesota waters. During the months of January through March, there are 20 opportunities across the state to take the Plunge and be freezin’ for a reason: to support Special Olympics Minnesota athletes!
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.
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 baseball hat
- $500 — Long-sleeved shirt and sweatshirt
- $750 — Long-sleeved shirt and quarter zip
- $1,000 — Long-sleeved shirt and jacket
- $1,500 — All incentives
- $3,000 — All incentives and a Plunge blanket!
Please note that if you prefer an incentive that is lower than what you earned (for example, you earned $1,000 but want the incentive for the $750 level), you’ll be able to request the lower item when you check in.
How deep is the water?
Each Plunge location is different, but we try our best to cut the hole in an area so that Plungers only need to go in waist deep. If you want to go all the way under water, it’s up to you—bend your knees! However, we can’t guarantee the depth, so if concerned, feel free to ask the Dive Team in the water before you jump.
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. A waiver is included in the online registration process, and it must be approved, or “clicked,” by an adult. Those under 18 are required to have a parent or guardian present at the event. If you do not register online, paper waivers are available at registration as well.
Where can I change before and after I Plunge?
We provide separate heated changing tents for men and women. Law enforcement personnel will be at the entrance to monitor the area, but please note that neither the event committee nor Special Olympics Minnesota 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.
What do I wear to Plunge?
Check out our What to Expect page.
Is alcohol allowed at Plunges?
Alcohol is not permitted at the Plunge site. If you are intoxicated, law enforcement will not allow you to Plunge.
Are the Plunge incentives for sale?
We do not sell any of our Plunge incentives because we feel it is a privilege for those who participate and have earned the various incentive levels. If we do have a large amount of incentives left at the end of the season, we’ll make the items available online. We do have separate Plunge merchandise that is available for anyone to purchase.
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.
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 meteorologist Ian Leonard and 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, and enjoy the Plunge atmosphere.
Am I guaranteed to receive my incentive when I check in?
We do our best to order enough incentives to cover all the Plungers who participate, but if there is a large increase in Plunge registrations, we may not have everyone’s incentives available on site. If you do not receive your incentives the day of the Plunge, they will be mailed to you as soon after the event as possible.
What are some tips to make check-in go faster?
- Register online.
- If you do not register online, have a Plunge brochure (pdf) and waiver completely and clearly filled out.
- If one is available, attend a pre-registration event.
- When possible, contact us prior to arriving at registration with questions about online donations or issues regarding registration. If questions arise that day, we will do our best to help you with them in a timely manner.
I have raised donations both online and offline with cash and checks. How will the volunteers at Plunge check in know how much I have raised?
Our check in system has up to the minute totals for your online fundraising, and will be added to anything additional you may turn in on site.
Can I trade my incentive after the event?
Plungers cannot change their incentive after the event. Incentives are given out based on what your fundraising total is on the day of the event. Any funds turned in after the event will still go towards you fundraising total, but will not change your incentive.
Can I Plunge at more than one Plunge event?
Definitely! You need to register yourself for each Plunge event. All your events will appear on your public Plunge page, and supporters will be able to choose which event they’d like to donate to.
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 Minnesota. When registering, select the “Create a Team” option.
Will my Plunge team be able to jump in together?
Depending on the size of the hole cut in the ice, teams may jump in together. If the hole is smaller, teams will have to 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.