Plunging for a special cause: Annual Polar Plunge raises $2 million for Special Olympics Illinois


Polar Plungers make a splash in Illinois in 2013.
Photo courtesy of Special Olympics Illinois.

In the usual wintry months of February and March, thousands of people are seen diving and splashing into the deep freezing waters. But they aren’t facing the bitter temperatures just for fun. They’re plunging for a special cause – the Polar Plunge, which raises money for the Special Olympics athletes.

This year, there were 20 different locations in Illinois for the annual Polar Plunge event, and over $2 million was raised for the Special Olympics Illinois athletes by more than 7,000 participants.  In the last 15 years, the event has raised $10.2 million with more 40,000 people taking the plunge.

Participants who register for the event must raise at least $75 and anyone can participate, although those under 18 must have a waver signed by a parent or guardian. Each plunger receives a hooded Polar Plunge sweatshirt, as well as other prizes depending on the amount raised. Costumes are also encouraged for participants to wear. For those who missed the Polar Plunge, you can still donate to the Special Olympics Illinois athletes here.

I have to admit that editing someone else’s video is harder than it sounds. I definitely found myself struggling to find the right B-roll to match my audio and felt that if I had filmed the footage, I would have more shots to play with. Regardless, I enjoyed learning to put together a package with both audio and video of B-roll and A-roll. Writing the script was also still a challenge, but I think I’m getting better.

Check out my package on the Polar Plunge in Mahomet, Illinois.

You can also follow along with my script from below:

TRT: 1:27
OUT Q: Off the Shelf Sigout

CG LOWERTHIRD-Sony Kassam OTSO Reporter 

(show someone diving into the water then B-roll of a little boy on his dad’s shoulder, person in Viking hat and a dog running into the water)


(show Matt Payne walking)



Take Sot of Matt Payne





(show people running into the pond, close up of shirt they get, B-roll of people, little boy)




Take sot of Myndie Turner



(show Melissa Anderson walking and close up)
Take Sot of Melissa Anderson


(show girl in costume then group of people in penguin costume running/playing in water)



The annual Polar Plunge has finally arrived!

Participants raise at least $75 to support Special

Olympics athletes before taking a dive in to the deep

freezing water…and anyone from young to old … to

furry can participate. (:16)

Participant Matt Payne says it’s all about being prepared. (:04)


Take Sot of Matt Payne

“You wanna have a hat that will give you support in the water in case you drown…and drinking warm liquids before and you’re good to go.”  (:10)


The participants were certainly good to go, with more than $2 million raised for the Special Olympics in Illinois. More than 7,000 participants took the plunge and received a hooded sweatshirt, along with other prizes. (:12)

Myndie Turner says her reason for taking the plunge was a personal one.  (:04)

Take Sot of Myndie Turner

“I’ve been working with special needs kids since  I was  in college so…you know, it’s something that’s near to my heart…so..” (:09)


Helping out the cause doesn’t have to be limited to those with past experiences. Participant Melissa Anderson encourages all kinds of folks to join in.  (:09)

Take Sot of Melissa Anderson

“Everybody should come out and do this…this is awesome…a great organization…raises a lot of money and it’s fun.” (:06)


As costumes are encouraged, the Polar Plunge certainly ends up being fun for both watchers and participants alike. For Off the Shelf and Online, I’m Sony Kassam. (:10)


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