Beaver County Polar Plunge raises over $115,000 for Special Olympics with new Plunge Town twist

Beaver County Polar Plunge raises over $115,000 for Special Olympics with new Plunge Town twist

The near-70 degree temperature wasn’t the only thing heating things up Saturday as hundreds of people gathered in Bridgewater for the eighth annual Beaver County Polar Plunge.

This year, the event raised more than $115,000 and had about 500 participants plunging for the cause.

“This is the biggest fundraiser in Beaver County for Special Olympics," event coordinator Maggie Megahan said. "We have around 700 athletes in the county and all the money that we raised here goes to them, and they don’t have to pay for any of their sports.”

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This is Megahan’s first year taking over plunge duty, and she was quick to expand the festivities.

“We are really trying to expand it continue to draw in more families, schools and supporters. That’s why we created Plunge Town in addition to the actual plunge.”

"Plunge town” expanded around the Bridgewater Marina and featured food trucks, music, games, and the first annual Beaver County Polar Plunge “Chilly” Cook-Off-- that brought in iconic Pittsburgh musician Donnie Iris!

Iris was one of three judges and said he couldn’t be happier to be a part of the day.

“It’s great. Myself and the band, we’ve done a lot of stuff like this,” Iris said. "This is a little different because of the chili aspect, but it’s always good to get out with all the people and for a good cause.”

As for the turnout?

“Chilly” Cook-Off coordinator Hannah Oliver said it well exceeded their expectations and people are already asking about where to register for next year.

“I would definitely try this again next year, we will just have to get a bigger space," Oliver said. “We were getting a lot of tailgaters over here, a lot of families, kids that go to our school and all of their families are bringing all their friends over, so way more than we anticipated for sure.”

The Beaver County Polar Plunge is one of nine plunges held across the state of Pennsylvania and was able to raise $1 million for the Special Olympics in 2019.

The Pittsburgh Polar Plunge is set for Feb. 29 at Heinz Field. Individuals looking to take the plunge can do so by pledging a minimum of $50.

To donate or attend any of the upcoming plunges, visit