Quincy Plunges into Philanthropy for Special Olympics

The Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge has made its way back to Quincy for another year to help raise money for the Special Olympics Illinois and their athletes. 

On Saturday, February 26, 2022, all members of the public are invited to witness “plungers” jump into the water at QU Stadium at 12 p.m. to help raise funds for the cause. Plungers are encouraged to register early, but there will also be same day registration from 9-11 a.m.

Participants are encouraged to raise $100 dollars per plunge from family and friends, with participants receiving a 2022 Polar Plunge sweatshirt if successful. 

After the plunge, participants and donors are welcome to attend the Post Plunge Party hosted at The Abbey. There will be an awards ceremony and celebration for the success of this year’s event. There is also a reward for a free appetizer with the purchase of a meal for anyone who donates $10 dollars or more at the afterparty. 

Polar Plunge has been one of the most successful fundraising events for the Special Olympics in recent years, generating over $16 million dollars in their 18 years of hosting the event across the nation. Quincy is one of four cities participating in Illinois on Saturday alone.

Some students on campus were informed about the event in their sports marketing class, and were given the opportunity for extra credit by recruiting participants and donors for the plunge on Saturday. 

Grayson Kuan, a junior at QU, explains some of the parameters for the event. 

“You can just sign up and you’ll get a special link to send it around and fundraise for it. You don’t have to donate for it but it goes to a good cause so I decided to donate as well as getting my friends and family to donate,” Kuan said. 

Other students were notified of the plunge and thought this could be a great opportunity to bond with fellow teammates or students. 

Noah Gershman explained how team chemistry can improve from events like these.

“I heard about the plunge from (Jayme) Brain and (Grayson) Kuan, and thought it would be awesome if the entire team came out to jump in the river for our boys. It also helps out their class grade so it’s a win-win for everyone,” Gershman said. 

While this is a unique event for citizens to participate in, it’s important to remember the success of these plunges are instrumental for the Special Olympics to maintain successful and state-of-the art competitions for the athletes. 

Some students like Jayme Brain have understood this importance for quite some time. 

“It really hit a sensitive spot because my uncle actually competed in the Special Olympics in the state of Oregon and the (donation) opportunity presented itself and I said let’s run with it,” Brain said. 

While participants can enjoy a day of laughs, shrieks and chilling waters they can also smile at the end of the day knowing they helped Special Olympics Illinois in maintaining the care and support they give to their athletes. 

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