Chill out at Special Olympics Polar Plunge
FOR CITY TIMES
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — The Special Olympics Wisconsin Polar Plunge is back at the bay – Anchor Bay Bar and Grill, that is.
“The Wisconsin Rapids Polar Plunge is returning to Anchor Bay for the statewide 25th anniversary of the event,” said Ashley Hansen, Special Events Manager for the organization.
Hundreds of brave supporters of Special Olympics Wisconsin athletes and programs are expected to plunge into the icy waters of the Wisconsin River on Feb. 4 at Anchor Bay. Opening ceremonies kick the event off at 11 a.m., with plunges to follow. Music will be provided by local band, Southbound, in addition to “Pluck-a-Duck” and 50/50 raffles, souvenirs, food and beverages, including a special drink for the event. Athletes from around the state also will be present.
The plunge has been held at a variety of venues in the past and Tim McKellips, part of the Anchor Bay ownership team, is happy to host its return to the river.
“When we became involved with Anchor Bay in 2020, the partners did so with a deep love and respect for the community,” McKellips said. “We hoped to maintain the tradition started so many years ago in providing a community-oriented place where folks could participate in and give back to the community.”
Proceeds from the event go to support 19 team and/or individual Olympic-type sports for children and adults of all ages with intellectual disabilities, along with programs, including athlete leadership, healthy athlete programs, Young Athletes, and Unified Sports, which combines individuals with intellectual disabilities and individuals without intellectual disabilities on the sports teams.
“(Special Olympics) gives athletes continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy while participating in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship
with their families,” said Joe Seubert, Director of Development and Corporate Partnerships for SOWI.
The annual plunge warms the hearts of all involved, from plungers who raise money to participate to sponsors who back the event from a bit drier view.
“It is great seeing community support from our sponsors to plungers and even the folks that come and watch,” Seubert said. “They are all supporting a more inclusive community and services for all.”
Some of those supporters include presenting sponsor Ho-Chunk Gaming Casino-Nekoosa.
“Helping others is what the Ho-Chunk Nation strives to do,” said Missy Redcloud, Senior Manager of Public Relations at the Nekoosa casino. “Ho-Chunk Gaming Nekoosa is all about doing what we can to make the community a better place. We are proud to be supporters of the Wisconsin Special Olympic Polar Plunge and contributing to the athletes involved.”
The sentiments of support are echoed by McKellips.
“The Polar Plunge was iconic when it was here at Anchor Bay and we are just hoping to do that history justice by helping the folks at Special Olympics create an incredible afternoon for everyone involved,” McKellips said. “We hope to see you out there — if you do come out, try our Arctic Ice Water cocktail, fashioned specially for the Polar Plunge.”
For more information on the Special Olympics Wisconsin Polar Plunge, go to www.polarplungewi.org. To learn more about Special Olympics Wisconsin, go to www.specialolympicswisconsin.org.