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Hey, Polar Bears! It's Time to Take the Plunge for a Good Cause in Bellevue

Whether you’re brave or just bonkers, Special Olympics Programs in Kentucky and Ohio invite you to take part in the Greater Cincinnati Polar Plunge presented by Joe’s Crab Shack, on Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Joe’s Crab Shack location in Bellevue. Participants (or Polar Bears) raise a minimum of $75 ($50 minimum for students 18 and under) and take the leap into a pool set up in the Joe’s Crab Shack parking lot.

The Polar Plunge features brave souls – many in crazy costumes – taking a dip into chilly winter waters to help support the Special Olympics mission of providing sports training and competition opportunities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

The actual Plunge is only part of the event. The day includes a costume contest as well as fun throughout the day for participants and spectators alike.

Anyone who wants to take the Plunge sign up on-line at, create their own Web page and raise money through the official Polar Plunge Web site. Participants can register as individuals or gather a team of friends, family or coworkers and register as a group.

All participants receive the official Polar Plunge T-shirt, but can earn additional prizes for raising more money. The top three overall fundraisers will have their names entered into a drawing to win a $1,000 travel voucher from AAA Travel.

Afraid of the cold water? Once again this year you can register as “Too Chicken to Plunge”, and raise money to support Special Olympics athletes just like the Polar Bears do. You receive a special Too Chicken to Plunge T-shirt instead of the Official Plunge shirt, but are eligible for all additional fundraising prizes based on the total raised.

There will be an early check-in for participants who want to avoid the lines on Plunge day. Early check-in will be held at Joe’s Crab Shack in Bellevue from 4-7 pm on Friday, Feb. 3, and will feature live music, activities and a special Polar ride with Cycle Bar. Participants can turn in all money raised and gather fundraising awards prior to the event day.

Day-of-event registration for the Polar Plunge begins at 9 a.m. at Joe’s. Opening ceremonies, including the costume parade and costume contest, kick off at 11 a.m. and Plunging begins at approximately 11:30 a.m.

In addition to the fundraising awards, prizes will be awarded to the largest university or school group, largest law enforcement group, largest corporate group, the top fundraising team and the Polar Bear with the best costume.

Last year the Plunge saw more than 500 people take the Plunge, raising more than $125,000 in its sixth year at Joe’s Crab Shack. This will be the 12th year that the Special Olympics programs in Kentucky and Ohio have combined to organize the event. The Plunge has raised more than $1,250,000 in the last 11 years and in its 17-year history has raised more than $1.5 million for Special Olympics programs.

-Staff report