NEBRASKA CITY – Friends of Nebraska’s Special Olympics and the adventurous of all ages are warming up the first Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge ever hosted at Nebraska City.
State Trooper Bill Rowell told city commissioners this winter that the idea of holding the Special Olympics fundraiser at Wildwood Pond is receiving a warm reception, but he expects the event itself to live up to its polar plunge name.
“It’s going to be very cold. At this rate, we’re going to be cutting ice out in order to have a spot for everyone to run into the water and back out.”
The 2019 Polar Plunge season included five events in February and will conclude with the exhibition plunge March 2 at 2 p.m. Rowell said he will be among those following the hash tag Be Bold Get Cold.
“Believe it or not, it’s fun. You know, for the fun of it. It shows community involvement and support for Special Olympics Nebraska. That’s why I do it.”
Water rescue team members from Plattsmouth are donating their time to be on standby, Ted Bernard is serving as master of ceremonies and an “after-party” is planned at the Rowe Safety Complex training room. Rowell said he hopes Nebraska City will make its mark on a 30-year tradition.
It’s based on the law enforcement torch run which started back in 1981 by an individual who saw a need for the Special Olympics. The torch run uses different methods throughout the year to raise funds and that’s how Polar Plunge got started, as a method to raise funds and have fun while doing that.”
The event for the region has been held in Auburn for six years and law enforcement from Nemaha County are among those expected to form a team. At Auburn, people jumped from the bandshell at Legion Park into a tub filled with water. This year will be the first time wading into the icy depths of Wildwood Pond.
Rowell said participants can register online or at plunge site beginning at 1 p.m.
Prizes will be awarded for whoever raises the most for Special Olympics, for the oldest and youngest plungers and for best costume.
Register at sone.org and click on the “firstgiving” page. There is a $50 minimum donation.