The University of Tennessee held Polar Plunge, an event held during winter to raise money for local Special Olympics programs where participants jump into a cold body of water outside despite low temperatures, took place at the Tennessee Recreation Center for Students March 1.
UT held the event to raise money for the Special Olympics of East Tennessee, and students, athletes and Smokey dove into the TREC’s outdoor pool in order to raise money for children with intellectual disabilities in Knoxville.
According to participant Katee Nall, the event itself rose over $10,000 for the charity and every participant had to raise $50 each.
“Being able to have the opportunity to participate in an event that is as fun as the Polar Plunge that also benefits individuals with intellectual disabilities is one of the most rewarding feelings ever,” said Nall. “It makes everything worth it seeing the difference it can make in many individual’s lives.”
Further, around 250 people participated and around 175 people came to support the cause.
“After seeing the great turnout at the event, it’s refreshing to know that we live in such a supportive community that is so willing to volunteer and help raise awareness for such a great cause,” Nall said.
UT hopes to make the Polar Plunge an annual event, holding it every winter to raise more money for the Special Olympics of East Tennessee, and plan to have more participants and supporters.
The event was scheduled to be Feb. 21, but was rescheduled due to freezing water temperatures.
Edited by Hannah Hunnicutt