What is the Polar Plunge?

The Polar Plunge, presented by GEICO and the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run, is a unique opportunity for individuals, organizations and businesses to support Special Olympics athletes by jumping into Illinois’ icy waters.  In 2021, Special Olympics Illinois will be hosting their annual Polar Plunge in an all At Home/Virtual format.

How old do you have to be to Plunge?

There is no age requirement to participate in the Plunge At Home. Young children are welcome to participate, but that decision is left to the sole discretion of the child’s parent or guardian.  For individuals under the age of 18, a parent or guardian must agree to the Terms and Conditions during the online registration process.

What is the minimum amount that I need to raise to participate in the event?

All Plungers must raise a minimum of $100.

What incentives are available to participants who raise more than the minimum $100?

Incentives are available for Plungers who reach the $250, $500 or $1,000 levels. Click here to view incentive options.

What is a Plunge At Home?

This year, it is not WHERE you plunge, or HOW you plunge, but THAT you plunge! Whether you get into a snowball fight, run through a sprinkler, have a family member spray you with a hose or take an chilly dip into a backyard pool, YOU pick how you will be bold and get cold for the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois!

Are the Plunge incentives or sweatshirts available for purchase?

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.

What is your refund policy?

Donations made to the Polar Plunge are charitable contributions and non-refundable.

When and how will I receive my sweatshirt?

All plungers who raise $100 will receive a 2021 Polar Plunge sweatshirt. Plungers who reach their $100 minimum by midnight on February 21 will receive an exclusive invitation to a sweatshirt pick-up event the week of March 9-12. All other participants will receive their sweatshirt in April.

How do I submit offline donations?

  • For cash donations under $100, plungers should deposit the cash into their bank account and make a donation via their Donor Drive fundraising page.
  • For cash donations over $100, plungers should exchange donations into a money order or cashier check. Then complete this Offline Donation Tracking Form and mail it along with the money order to the address below. Ensure you include complete donor information so that a tax letter can be sent to your donor.
  • Check donations should be mailed along with a completed Offline Donation Tracking Form to the address below:

Mail offline donations to:

Special Olympics Illinois

Attn: Polar Plunge

605 East Willow

Normal, IL 61761

I have a donor who wants to write a check. Who should they make it payable to?

All checks should be made payable to Special Olympics Illinois. Donations of $100 with complete donor information will receive a tax letter from Special Olympics Illinois.

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 Illinois. When registering, select the “Create a Team” option.

Can my team still Plunge At Home together?

Teams can decide whether to Plunge At Home together or individually! We encourage all participants to adhere to CDC and IDHP guidelines when gathering in groups.