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Polar Plunge returns today to Plattsburgh City Beach

Participants in last year’s Freezin’ for a Reason Polar Plunge run from the water at Plattsburgh City Beach. Last year’s plunge raised more than $23,000 and saw more than 225 people plunge into the chilly waters of Lake Champlain.

Participants in last year’s Freezin’ for a Reason Polar Plunge run from the water at Plattsburgh City Beach. Last year’s plunge raised more than $23,000 and saw more than 225 people plunge into the chilly waters of Lake Champlain. Photo by Jeremiah S. Papineau.

— Today's the day! Plattsburgh City Beach will be invaded by hundreds of people braving freezing temperatures all in the name of supporting Special Olympics New York.

Kaila Horton, director of development for Special Olympics New York, is looking forward to the second annual “Freezin’ for a Reason Polar Plunge” coming to Plattsburgh City Beach today (Saturday, Nov. 12), building on the excitement caused by last year’s event.

“We were astonished with the turnout last year,” said Horton. “We had a lot of people sign up on-line before but we had a lot sign up the day of the plunge.”

The polar plunge will return as a fundraiser for Special Olympics New York, which hosts an annual state competition for those with intellectual disabilities. Last year’s plunge raised more than $23,000 and saw more than 225 people plunge into the chilly waters of Lake Champlain.

“Last year, we didn’t know what to expect,” said Horton. “We thought we’d shoot for $15,000 and we were very surprised we not only hit it, but we went over it.”

New to this year’s event will be the “Chicken Coop VIP Area,” which will provide an alternative to taking a dip in potentially frigid temperatures that day. Those who raise money a minimum of $50 will be able to sit in a special polar plunge viewing section and receive food, beverages and prizes.

“It’s going to be for folks who don’t necessarily want to go in the water but still want to raise money and receive an incentive,” said Horton. “We wanted to provide an option for them.”

The Chicken Coop is something polar plunge organizers in Rochester have tried before, said Horton, and is something that will be tried out this year in Lake George, Massena and Plattsburgh.

City Mayor Donald M. Kasprzak, who participated in last year’s polar plunge, said he was proud to have the event back for its second year.

“I was so pleased to see the interest of so many people last year,” said Kasprzak. “It seems like the North Country always comes together when we have events like this and I hope this year brings out even more people.”

Plunge day will start with registration at 9 a.m., with the plunge to follow at 12 p.m. Every participant who raises $100 will receive a free hooded sweatshirt.

For more information about the event, contact Kaila Horton at 388-0790, ext. 129, or visit the Special Olympics New York website.

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