2013 Polar Plunge/Courtesy bigbear.com

Big Bear Lake, CA, February 24, 2014 – The temperature of the lake has been running about 47 degrees, but that won’t stop men, women and children from plunging in next week. That’s because they’re on a mission to benefit Special Olympics athletes.

For over 40 years, Special Olympics Southern California [www.sosc.org] has been offering kids and adults with intellectual disabilities a chance to participate in sports training and competition. One of their big fundraisers is the Big Bear Lake Polar Plunge, scheduled this year for Saturday, March 8 at Meadow Park. Registration starts at 10 a.m. with the Opening ceremonies at noon.

Participants have already raised over half of the $50,000 goal, and Special Olympics Southern California Regional Director Abbey Leffler says, “86 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to Special Olympics program costs.”

The program provides opportunities to develop fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience the joy of physical activity.

Those who take the Polar Plunge challenge are asked to raise at least $50 through pledges. Prizes are given to those raising more than $50, and those with the most creative costumes. To sign up as a Polar Plunger or a sponsor, call 951-703-6502.

It’s free–and much warmer–to be a spectator, but donations are accepted. Activities include a family fun area, guest emcee (TBA), DJ music, a souvenirs stand, vendors, and a raffle drawing with great prizes. A BBQ lunch will be free for participants and available for purchase by spectators.