University of Michigan hosts Polar Plunge to raise money for Special Olympics
A parade of costumed community members will march through Michigan Stadium's tunnel and jump into a cold pool set up on the field for the Polar Plunge on Saturday.
"It’s an amazing opportunity and partnership," said Kimberly Purdy, chief marketing and development officer for Special Olympics Michigan.
AnnArbor.com reported the announcement made by the U-M athletic department that it would be partnering with the Special Olympics in November 2012. Following the announcement, U-M also confirmed that the Big House, Big Heart race would no longer end in Michigan Stadium. U-M officials said the decision was at least in part due to making the charitable relationship with Special Olympics a top priority.
Purdy said more than 400 people have registered for the plunge already.
The event will feature celebrity judges including former Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr, current coach Brady Hoke, Olympic swimmer Peter Vanderkaay, Miss Washtenaw County Marissa Cowan and WDIV sports director Bernie Smilovitz.
Although registration began months ago, Purdy said walk-up registration is welcomed starting at 10:30 a.m.
After registration is completed, Carr and Hoke will give a pre-plunge motivational speech and plungers will start jumping in at noon.
Once the last person takes the plunge, an award ceremony and lunch will take place.
Purdy said anyone who can't make it out to the plunge but is still interested in donating to Special Olympics Michigan, can do so for the first time in the voluntary contributions schedule of their taxes.
More information about the event, including the awards, can be found on the First Giving website.