Tag Archive for: Polar Plunge

President Rick Bailey will support Special Olympics with a "Polar Plunge."

President Bailey, SOU Raiders, make splash for Special Olympics

SOU President Rick Bailey will join other members of the campus community this year as they “take the plunge” as part of a local benefit for Special Olympics Oregon.

Bailey will line up Saturday morning on the edge of the unheated, outdoor pool at Rogue Valley Country Club in Medford with students from the Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU. Bailey and other members of the team will jump into the pool – whose water temperature is expected to be about 44 degrees – as part of the annual Southern Oregon Polar Plunge. More than a dozen SOU Raiders are expected to participate in the event, which is free and open to the public.

“Although I am not a fan of jumping into cold bodies of water, I am a HUGE fan of Special Olympics and the wonderful things that organization does,” President Bailey said. “I’m excited to help bring awareness to a great and worthwhile cause.”

Polar Plunge for Special OlympicsAn SOU contingent joins hundreds of other teams made up of students, law enforcement, gyms, corporate partners and thrill seekers across the state each February to make an icy dip. Proceeds from the events provide uniforms, sports equipment, and regional and national travel opportunities for athletes with intellectual disabilities.

“My sister and I are both plunging this year,” said Elena Patterson, a senior music major at SOU. “Our brother is a below-the-knee amputee and he has dyslexia. He’s 15 and a freshman at AHS. I like plunging every year because it’s a fun event. You show up and everyone is nervous but excited and finally it’s your turn to go up and the water is so cold! But everyone is cold together. Can’t wait!”

Raiders have been plunging for three years in-person, and students participated virtually last year because of the pandemic. Martin Bichinsky, a sophomore music major at SOU, plunged for the cause at home by submitting a video of himself being doused with a bucket of ice water in his backyard.

SOU alumnus Jared Brown ’17, the Youth Orchestra Manager with Pacific Symphony in Los Angeles, is sponsoring two students by donating $100.

“I continue to support Special Olympics year after year out of love for my cousin, Thomas, who lives with non-verbal autism and aphasia,” Brown said. “I greatly appreciate the effort folks exhibit through activities like Polar Plunge as they bring awareness and visibility to those living in our communities with special needs.”

Another alum, Jayme Dittberner ’21, a teacher at Talent Middle School said, “I like plunging because I love having the opportunity to raise awareness and money for the Special Olympics athletes. It’s really amazing to see so many people in the community coming together for something so important. It’s been a lot of fun the last two years that I’ve done it, and I know how much of an impact we are making by participating in the event.”

The SOU community can join the SOU Raider team by plunging, donating or coming out to watch the event. The Southern Oregon Polar Plunge begins with registration at 9 a.m., costume contest at 10:30 a.m., and opening ceremonies and the plunge at 11 a.m. For more information, contact event manager Kim Andresen, or go to www.plungeoregon.org.

Polar Plunge is back on Saturday

Polar Plunge: SOU team to participate in Saturday’s Special Olympics fundraiser

SOU students, staff and faculty have the opportunity to brave icy waters and support local Special Olympics Oregon athletes with intellectual disabilities during the 2019 Polar Plunge event on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Medford’s Jackson Aquatic Center.

The Southern Oregon Polar Plunge will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a costume contest for the participants. The opening ceremonies are scheduled for 11 a.m., followed by the plunge – or plunges.

An SOU team, along with many other local supporters, will participate and support local special needs athletes.

Every student or participant who takes the icy “plunge” must raise $50 in support of the Special Olympics Oregon – half of which goes to local programs for Special Olympics athletes in Jackson, Josephine and Klamath counties. The money helps to provide training, equipment, uniforms, wellness programs and experiences of a lifetime for the athletes.

Organizers recommend plunging with a team of family, friends, co-workers or members of local organizations. SOU will be represented by an Oregon Center for the Arts team organized by student captain Jared Brown. Those who aren’t up for a plunge can still participate by pledging as little as $5 to the SOU team.

More information about the plunge is available on the event website, or by calling (541) 841-6875 or emailing Polar Plunge event manager Kim Andresen – who doubles as division manager for SOU’s Oregon Center for the Arts – at soplunge@soor.org.

The Southern Oregon Polar Plunge is the only pool-based plunge event in Oregon. It is a unique opportunity for individuals, organizations and businesses to help support local Special Olympics  athletes.

Every participant in the plunge will receive a commemorative t-shirt, hot soup and the opportunity to meet the Special Olympics athletes that will benefit from their plunges.

Story by Bryn Mosier, SOU Marketing and Communications intern