Over 2,000 people in South Dakota from age 8 and up are involved in the athletic programs offered by Special Olympics. The confidence and self-worth these individuals gain by their participation carries over into everything they do, from the classroom to work, from their homes and into the community. And if you're thinking Special Olympics is just about track events, think again!

 Special Olympics activities also include: basketball, bowling, swimming, powerlifting, soccer and equestrian events too, all at no cost to the athletes or their families. This remarkable program is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. It was founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver as a way to explore differently-abled children's sports and activity skills.

The Polar Plunge is an annual fundraiser benefiting Special Olympics South Dakota (SOSD). It is sponsored by South Dakota Law Enforcement as part of their year-round Law Enforcement Torch Run events. You support Special Olympics athletes and their dreams by raising at least $100 (per person) and then jumping into some very chilly water!

SOSD is proud to announce a new partnership with J&L Harley Davidson (2601 W 60th St N, Sioux Falls) this year. So it will be bigger than ever! You'll be plunging Saturday, April 21, in the J&L parking lot. J&L is providing food and there will be a beer garden too, with all proceeds benefitting SOSD. You can register online or at the event on Saturday (registration starts at 11:00 AM). Plunging begins at 1:00 PM.

There are also awards for best costume and group challenges too. So, dress up, dress down, wear costumes, wigs, hats- -whatever trips your trigger. And, if you're having second thoughts right before you jump into that icy water, imagine the warm smiles, hugs and thanks of all of the hardworking Special Athletes you're supporting. Then get ready to be "Freezin' for a Reason"!

If you'd prefer to avoid the "plunge", donate to other teams or just donate and watch in a toasty warm jacket with a cold beer in your hand, knowing that you're doing something wonderful!

For more information call Todd Bradwisch at (605) 331-4117, see Special Olympics SD & the Polar Plunge online and on Facebook.

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