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Special Olympics New York to host 'Buffalo Polar Plunge,' Woodlawn Beach clean up


Thu, Dec 2nd 2021 08:40 am

Events continue to Saturday

For those ready to “take the plunge” into the freezing waters of Lake Erie, the “Buffalo Polar Plunge” is nearly here.

The weekend’s festivities will commence with the Woodlawn Beach Cleanup from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday. Diving teams from the Hamburg Town Police, New York State Police, New York State Park Police, and Erie County Sheriff's Office will clean Lake Erie’s Woodlawn Beach to prepare for the Polar Plunges.

Next, on Friday, schools from across Western New York will participate in the first “Cool School Challenge” at Woodlawn Beach State Park. Two high school students will also be awarded the First Student Scholarship of $1,000.

Then on Saturday, nearly 800 brave souls will participate in the 15th annual “Buffalo Polar Plunge” to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics New York athletes in the Western Region.

Organizers said, “The ‘Polar Plunge’ is one of the most popular, profitable, and exciting fundraisers for Special Olympics New York. Participants raise money by asking friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances for donations.”

Special Olympics New York President and CEO Stacey Hengsterman said, “ ‘Polar Plunges’ are some of the most valuable fundraisers we host each year. They’re an excellent opportunity for people from all over the community to come together and support our athletes. If you join us, you’ll see why so many people return year after year.”

At this event last year, 350 participants raised $105,000. Individuals and teams who’d like to join this year’s event may do so by registering online at polarplungeny.org/Buffalo. For more information, contact Erica Raepple at 716-909-6444 or [email protected].

  • Woodlawn Beach clean: 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, Dec. 2
  • ‘Cool School Plunge for High Schools’: Friday, Dec. 3. Register from 2-3:30 p.m. Event at 4 p.m.
  • Buffalo Polar Plunge: Saturday, Dec. 4. Register from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Plunge at 2 p.m.
  • Woodlawn Beach State Park is located at 3580 Lake Shore Road, Buffalo.

About Special Olympics New York

Special Olympics New York is the largest state chapter in the country, serving more than 51,000 registered athletes and unified partners across New York with year-round sports training, athletic competition, and health screenings. The organization also partners with about 250 schools statewide to offer Unified Sports, where students with and without disabilities compete as teammates. All Special Olympics New York programs are offered at no cost to athletes, their families or caregivers. The organization has earned the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.com. For more information, to learn more about getting involved, or to make a donation, visit www.specialolympicsNY.org.

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