Westchester Polar Plunge Hosted by Special Olympics New York Braved the Chilly Waters of Long Island Sound

On November 12, brave individuals gathered at Westchester Country Beach Club in Rye for the annual Westchester Polar Plunge, taking the plunge to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics New York athletes in the Hudson Valley Region.


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. Students who participate will receive community service hours. Event details are as follows.


This year there were 33 teams with over 1,400 plungers registered and raised nearly $270,000 for Special Olympics New York athletes. The funds raised sponsored 770 athletes for one sports season. This will provide athletes with the sports equipment, training facilities, uniforms and medals as they compete in winter sports: floor hockey, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoe, basketball, etc.


The top “Cool School Challenge Winners” were Iona Prep for private schools and Somers LEO’s/High for public schools. Iona Prep was named the #1 team in all of New York State, raising over $86,000 for Special Olympics New York.


Two students from Iona Prep, Jack DiFiore and Frankie Duffy along with Aleksiana Rukaj from Somers received $500 towards their next tuition, sponsored by Academic Federal Credit Union.


Local teams participating included: Iona Prep Plungers (255 plungers, Patricia Gray, captain); Ursuline Koalas (120 plungers, Samantha Barca, captain); New Rochelle Guns N’ Hoses (16 plungers, John Schroeder, captain); Empress EMS (5 plungers, Sean O’Brien, captain); and Pelham Pelicans (82 plungers, Katie Brandler, captain). 


For more information, visit polarplungeny.org/Westchester or specialolympicsNY.org