Polar plunge to be held in Rolla in March.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop I and Rolla Police Department are dispatching a call from hibernation for all polar bears. The Sixth Annual Polar Plunge and Third Annual Polar Bear Strut 5K will be held on March 7.

Brave men and women from around the area will don costumes and swimwear and take "polar" dips into the Fugitive Beach. Their Reason for Freezin' — the athletes of Special Olympics Missouri.  

All proceeds from the event benefit the organization. This year’s goal is 200 plungers and $33,000. Organizers across the state hope to break the million-dollar mark this year with 11 events.

There is no age limit to participate in the Strut, however the Polar Plunge is open to anyone 10 years old or older who is a fan of having a good time for a good cause. 

The event is hosted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop I and the Rolla Police Department. Both events will take place at the Fugitive Beach. Strut registration will begin at 8 a.m. with the Strut starting at 9 a.m.  Plunge registration will open at 9:30 a.m. The Parade of Costumes will begin at noon, and the Plunge starts promptly at 12:30 p.m. No wet suits are allowed and shoes are required.   

Each participant is required to raise a minimum $75 to participate in the Polar Plunge. The Strut minimum is $50. All participants will receive an official commemorative shirt. Participants can also receive incentives for reaching fundraising goals: $250 – Tumbler, $500 – Cooler, $1,000 – Vest, $2,000 – Chair; in addition to prizes at each other level.

The easiest and most efficient way to register and fundraise is online. Simply go to http://somo.org/plunge, sign up, and email your friends and families to support your Plunge. Paper registration forms are also available at the Special Olympics Missouri Head Quarters Office. Mail or deliver pre-registration forms and the minimum $75 contribution to Special Olympics Missouri Rolla Plunge – 711 W. McCarty St., Jefferson City, MO 65101.

The participant with the most original costume will be presented with the “golden plunger award.”

For more information about the Polar Plunge, please contact Crystal Schuster, Development Director, at (573) 635-1660 or email cschuster@somo.org.

About Special Olympics Missouri

Special Olympics Missouri is a year-round program of sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. More than 16,400 athletes participate in 16 Olympic-type sports throughout the state. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy as they participate in the sharing of gifts and friendship with their fellow athletes, their family and friends, and communities across Missouri.

Special Olympics Missouri is proud of its financial health returning 85 percent of every dollar back to program services. Special Olympics Missouri has been recognized with the following honors: Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity, Charity Navigator 3-star rating and an inductee into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame – Class of 2013.  

Visit Special Olympics at www.somo.org. Engage with Special Olympics Missouri on Twitter @somissouri; fb.com/specialolympicsmo; Instagram @somissouri.