The air temperature hovered around 32 degrees this morning with a brisk breeze off Lake George making it feel even colder to bare skin, and there was plenty of bare skin on the lakeshore today. Hundreds gathered in Shepard Park this morning for the 11th Annual Freezin’ for a Reason Polar Plunge. The event is a fundraiser for Special Olympics New York, and this year pledges passed the $100,000 mark.
It was a carnival atmosphere on Shepard Park Beach with pop tunes blasting through the public address system. More than 40 teams participated, arriving in bathing suits and assorted costumes, including a team of Swan Lake ballerinas and a team in fur and crown outfits inspired by Game of Thrones. Each plunger is asked to raise $100 or more in pledges, and many rose much more with the top fundraiser, Bryce Reynolds, bringing in nearly $9,000.
New York Special Olympics supports more than 70,000 athletes, offering training and competition opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1969, New York Special Olympics is the largest Special Olympics program in North America. The New York Special Olympics 2018 Winter Games open in Rochester Friday, February 23 with the Parade of Athletes and lighting of the Special Olympics Cauldron. There is no charge to athletes to train or compete.