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Manchester hosts Polar Plunge to aid Special Olympics Indiana

Manchester University invites area groups and individuals to take part in the Polar Plunge, a fundraising event to help support Special Olympics Indiana.

Freezin’ for a Reason begins with registration from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb.  19 near the new ticket booth at the Spartan Stadium on Manchester’s North Manchester campus.

2022_PBP logo“The big splash begins at noon. This is a great way for individuals and teams to make a big difference for Special Olympics while having a blast,” said MU Student Life Office Manager Kelsey Gower, who is helping organize the event.

Each person needs to raise a “bear” minimum of $85 to plunge. Team members can sign up as participants, which means they jump in the water, or “virtual plungers,” who raise money but do not get wet.

Spartan Mark Sherman chairs the Special Olympics Indiana Board of Directors and will lead off the North Manchester plunge with a group of Manchester graduates, including President Dave McFadden (Class of 1982) at noon. Sherman is a member of the Class of 1979 and a former trustee.

Special Olympics Indiana's signature fundraiser, the Polar Plunge is a series of events held each winter where individuals and teams brave the elements by taking an icy dip to demonstrate their commitment to the cause. All funds raised by the events directly benefit more than 18,000 Special Olympics athletes throughout Indiana, giving them the means to train locally and compete at the state level in Olympic-type sports. 

Step 1:  Register online as an in-person or virtual participant at
Step 2:  Fundraise by sharing the link to your personal fundraising page and collect cash and checks from people in your community. Friends don't let friends plunge alone! Ask your friends, family and co-workers to get involved. 
Step 3:  Take the plunge on Feb. 19. Bring your pledge form and/or a copy of your online pledges to your Polar Plunge event. Turn in all offline donations, sign your waiver, and prepare to get cold.

Plungers must be at least 12 years old by the day of the event to enter the water. Those younger than 18 must have a signature from a parent or guardian.

If you have questions about the event at Manchester, contact Gower at

Organizers advise wearing old gym shoes you don’t mind getting wet. Participants should bring a pair of dry shoes, a towel or robe and a change of clothes.

Some plungers wear costumes over bathing suits. 

For the media

Special Olympics Indiana 

You are welcome to cover this event. For those who aren’t familiar with our campus, there is plenty of parking next to the Chinworth Center off East Street.

Manchester University, with campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., provides vibrant and transformative student experiences. Learn more at

Our mission
Manchester University respects the infinite worth of every individual and graduates persons of ability and conviction who draw upon their education and faith to lead principled, productive, and compassionate lives that improve the human condition.

January 2022