What is the Polar Plunge?

The Polar Plunge a/k/a/ Polar Bear Plunge, consists of brave souls that raise money to “plunge” into icy water in Kansas during winter. Costumes are encouraged, because who wants to get their good clothes soaking wet? Plus, it helps disguise the fear in your eyes!  Plungers are required to raise a minimum of $75 and there is a FAQs page to  help them in their fundraising efforts.  In 2018, eleven Kansas communities will host a Polar Plunge with first time Plunges in Hutchinson and Meade. Get a team together or go it alone. Teams should have a minimum of two but there is no maximum number of participants. The team must raise the $75 fee for each participant.  (i.e. 10 team members must raise $750 together).The individual Plunge fees must be raised by the day of the Plunge, however, fundraising can continue up to 30 days after the event.

This year, your team or organization can share in the fundraising dollars earned by your Plunge. Download the Information on the Revenue Share Program for program specifics, print off your Application and send to Luke at schultel@ksso.org. Applications are due Dec. 1 .


This “cooool” event is a unique opportunity to show your brrravery as you support Special Olympics athletes by running, walking, jumping or toe dipping into frigid waters.

We don’t care how wet you get, just as long as you get what it’s all about.  Many of our plungers repeat the wacky event year after year.


What is a Polar Strut?

The Polar Strut may consist of a sanctioned 5K, a 5K run/walk, 1 mile fun run/walk, or even a cross country run. Go for the time or enjoy a stroll just do it with attitude!It’s strutting your stuff to support Special Olympics athletes.  Each Plunge site will determine the type of Strut to be held at their location, so please check the description. The Strut, like the Plunge, requires a minimum donation to participate and you are encouraged to consider raising more money for the cause.  Strutters raising the minimum $30 will receive a commemorative scarf.  The on-line FAQs section is available to make you successful.


A Virtual Plunger?

Pay the cash – you don’t have to splash!

Let’s say for some  reason  you can’t plunge, don’t run, or icy water is not your thing, then consider doing a VIRTUAL plunge.  What does it take?  Absolutely nothing!!  Just register at the location of your choice as a plunger and solicit pledges (or donate) to support Special Olympics Kansas.  If you raise the $75 minimum or even more, you receive the same incentives as a plunger, while you stayed warm and dry!  Pick up your incentives at registration or a pre-registration event at your plunge location.   Please take a photo and post to twitter or facebook with #plungeks.  We don’t mind anyone who wants to virtual plunge!


Be a Cool School

The Cool School Challenge is a friendly competition between area schools as part of the Polar Plunge. Students who are interested in creating more inclusive school environments, raising money to support Special Olympics athletes and supporting their school while having fun doing something wild should form a Cool School team. Click on the link for more information.


Each Polar Plunge location will have the following awards:

  • Highest fundraising individual
  • Highest fundraising team
  • Team with most plungers
  • Best costume individual
  • Best costume team (3 or more people)


Raise more funds earn more incentives! It is a win-win for Special Olympics Kansas and you. Click on this link for details.


Several of the Plunges have volunteer opportunities.
Click here to view locations and volunteer information.

Polar Plunge Intern(s)
Looking to gain hands-on experience working in event planning and sales, AND support an incredible, world-renowned non-profit? Join a fast-paced, collaborative work environment as a Development Department’s Polar Plunge intern for your community!
We are currently seeking interns in Kansas City, Lawrence, Pittsburg, Emporia, Wichita, Hutchinson, Salina, Manhattan, Topeka, and Garden City. You will be executing recruitment plans, securing marketing avenues and working for one of Kansas’ largest and fastest growing fundraisers, the Polar Plunge!
Click on the link for more information  –  Plunge Intern position