Special Olympics plunges into coolest fundraiser of the year


Special Olympics of Northern California will be hosting it’s annual Polar Plunge at Millerton Lake on Saturday, March 18

Participants are encouraged to dress in their favorite costume as they take the plunge into the chilly waters that day.

FRESNO – Parking will fill fast and many will be in attendance of what can easily be called one of the “coolest” events of the year at Millerton Lake this weekend.
Special Olympics of Northern California will be hosting the annual Fresno Polar Plunge at the lake roughly 20 miles north of Fresno this year. Started in Fresno in 2016, over 100 participants, double that of last year, will be diving in to support the international fundraiser. This year’s fund raising event is scheduled to kick off at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 18. It is recommended that participants and supporters arrive early ensuring plenty of time to enjoy the festivities. They and other brave like minded individuals will gather to take the plunge into the frigid lake starting at noon, doing their part in support of the non-profit organization.
The organization hosts this event and others throughout the region of Northern California year-round, relying on the generous support of individuals and companies within the community to support its life enriching programs. This year, the non-profit organization has even added a 5k and 10k timed run to the San Francisco event, and a 5k trail run to the Sacramento location.
Registered participants who raised the required $125 will be able to partake in event festivities which include games entertainment and refreshments. They will receive a long sleeve Polar Plunge t-shirt commemorating the event but are encouraged to dress in their favorite costume as they take the plunge into the chilly waters that day. Additional fundraising is always encouraged and participants will be recognized with awards presented at the event.
Proceeds from the event assist in funding free year-round Special Olympic programs intended for the benefit of children and adults alike with intellectual disabilities. These programs are designed specifically to enrich lives through high quality training and competitions for inclusive sports, education, leadership, and health programs. SONC uses these programs to create an inclusive community for those with and without disabilities through 11 sports within Fresno County such as basketball, swimming, track and field, and bowling to name a few. Through these inclusive activities, they are able to make connections, develop healthy lifestyles, and experience the joy of sports.
By offering their training and competitions for these and many other events free year-round the organization actively touches the lives of over 26,000 athletes annually through its nearly 400 scheduled competitions. In addition, through the Unified Champion Schools Program, the organization impacts over 13,000 additional school aged students in an effort to promote inclusion.
If you or someone you know would like to volunteer or participate in the available programs, you can register or find more information by visiting the Special Olympics of Northern California website at www.sonc.org and through social media on Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok @SONorCal as well as on Instagram @SpecialOlumpicsNCA.