Indiana State University Newsroom

ISU Polar Plunge raises more than $37,000 for Special Olympics Indiana

February 24, 2020

The 12th annual Polar Plunge raised more than $37,000 for Special Olympics Indiana and had more than 150 participants plunge Saturday outside the Student Recreation Center.

Sixteen teams and many individuals braved the cold February weather by taking an icy dip into a pool to support more than 18,000 Special Olympics athletes and volunteers who work to end discrimination against, and empower, people with intellectual disabilities.

Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority at Indiana State had 38 members plunge, which was the largest group participating. Alpha Sigma Alpha raised $6,900. On a national level, the sorority has been a partner with Special Olympics since 1976. The sorority members also served as event volunteers with Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity.

Linda Bedwell of the Greene County Popsicles raised $7,000 and was recognized for the most money raised by an individual. The Greene County Popsicles raised the most by a team, $8,140.

"It was great to see the Wabash Valley Community come together for the annual Polar Plunge," said John Lentz, director of Campus Recreation and chair of the Polar Plunge committee. "The Terre Haute event is one of several plunges held across Indiana and it is the largest grass roots effort for support of the Summer Games and other programs."

Lentz was recognized with the Judy Campbell Award for his decades of service with Special Olympics Indiana. The award is named after ISU faculty member Judy Campbell who was a co-founder of Special Olympics in 1969. Lentz provided leadership for the Summer Games held at ISU, Indiana Special Olympics Sports Management for basketball and the local Polar Plunge committee since its inception in 2009.

Annually, the plunges take place throughout Indiana in February with the goal to raise $1 million for Special Olympics. Indiana State is one of several universities that supports the event.