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RELEASE: 18th Annual Kirksville Polar Plunge raises $29,500 for SOMO

2023 Kirksville Polar Plunge

KIRKSVILLE – The 18th Annual Kirksville Polar Plunge on Feb. 25 at Thousand Hills State Park was a splashing success, raising $29,500 to date. A total of 148 brave men and women from around the area donned disco-themed costumes and swimwear to take the chilly dip. Their Reason for Freezin’… the athletes of Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO)!

Online fundraising is still ongoing. Organizers of the Plunge still hope to raise an additional $2,500 to reach the goal of $32,000. Donations can be made here.

“What a rush,” Plunger Eric Rowland said. “It was colder and more shocking than I thought it would be, but I will be back!”

Top individual fundraisers included the following:

  • 1st Place Fundraiser – Patty Sutton: $2,000
  • Top Fundraising Team – Dream Magic: $3,100
  • Top Law Enforcement Team – Moberly Correctional Center: $3,035

Competition for the Golden Plunger was steep this year. Participants were encouraged to come in costume and compete for the chance to take home the “Golden Plunger.”

Group 1st Place – The 70’s Groovy Outfits: Moberly Correctional Center

Individual 1st Place – Angel Ransom: Rainbow Bright Hollister

SOMO was lucky to have one Plunge Ambassador helping out with this event. Our Plunge Ambassador for this year’s Plunge was Patty Sutton. She spent months promoting the event, and she also took home some hardware! Sutton was the top individual fundraiser, and her team was the top team fundraiser. Way to go Patty!

“Thank you to everyone that donated and supported Special Olympics Missouri athletes just like me,” Sutton said.

This year’s event was hosted by the Kirksville Police Department, MSHP Troop B and the Missouri Conservation Department. Sponsors included Brawner Insurance, the Farnsworth family and many more!

For more information about the Polar Plunge, visit

Media is welcome to download and use any pictures from our Flickr page.

Special Olympics Missouri

Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO) is a year-round program of sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Thousands of athletes participate in 16 Olympic-type sports throughout the state. SOMO provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy as they participate in the sharing of gifts and friendship with their fellow athletes, their family and friends, and communities across Missouri.

SOMO is proud of our financial health, returning 78% of every dollar back to program services. We are privileged to be recognized with these honors: Better Business Bureau A+ Charity Accreditation, Guidestar Gold Level and Charity Navigator 4-star rating. Special Olympics was also recently named Morning Consult’s No. 4 most trusted nonprofit.

Thank you for trusting us with your donations, volunteer time and your goodwill.

Visit Special Olympics Missouri at Engage with us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.