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RELEASE: SOMO preps for 16th Annual Cape Girardeau Polar Plunge

Cape Girardeau Polar Plunge 2022 4

CAPE GIRARDEAU – The 16th Annual Cape Girardeau Polar Plunge and Polar Bear Strut 5K will take place on Saturday, Feb. 25. Brave men and women from around the area will don disco-themed costumes and swimwear and take “polar” dips into Cape County Park North. Their Reason for Freezin’. . .  the athletes of Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO)! All proceeds from this year’s event will benefit training and competition for the thousands of SOMO athletes across the state, including right here in Cape Girardeau. 

There is no age limit for the Strut, and the Polar Plunge is open to anyone 10 years or older who is a fan of having a good time for a good cause. The event is hosted by the Cape Girardeau Police Department and will take place at Cape County Park at 2400 County Park Dr. Day-of registration is an option for both events. Strut registration begins at 8 a.m., and the race will start at 10 a.m. Plunge registration begins at noon, and the Plunge will start promptly at 2 p.m.

“We are so excited to see so many brave people participate in one of the coolest events of 2023,” Plunge Coordinator Penny Williams said. “Run, jump or tip-toe in, and you will immediately warm up just knowing you are helping thousands of SOMO athletes achieve their goals.”

In 2022, Cape Girardeau Polar Plungers raised over $66,000 for SOMO athletes. Each participant must raise a minimum of $75 to take the Plunge and can earn incentives by reaching fundraising goals. This year’s goal is $55,000, and organizers hope to break the million-dollar mark across the state with 10 events.

Costumes are highly encouraged. Awards will be given in the following categories for pre-registered Plungers only:

  • Top Fundraisers
  • Top Fundraising Group
  • Top Fundraising School

Golden Plunger Awards for the most creative costumes will also be presented to the top group and top individuals.

No wet suits are allowed and shoes are required.

The easiest and most efficient way to register and fundraise is online! Simply go to this link for the Plunge and this link for the Strut to sign up. Make sure to email your friends and family to support your Plunge or Strut. Paper registration forms are also available at the SOMO Southeast Area office at 1625 N. Kingshighway, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701. Mail or deliver pre-registration forms and the minimum $75 contribution to Special Olympics Missouri Plunge, 1625 N. Kingshighway, Cape Girardeau, MO, 63701.

Plunging participants will receive an official Polar Plunge commemorative shirt, bragging rights for freezing your fur off, a Plunger meal and free admission to the Pre-Plunge Party at the Cape Girardeau Elks Club – located near the Plunge site. The Pre-Plunge Party admission for the general public is $10 per person. Participants can also receive incentives for reaching fundraising goals: $250 – Beanie, $500 – Robe, $1,000 – Speaker and $2,000 – Fleece Zip-up jacket and beanie.

SOMO is lucky to have two Plunge Ambassadors helping out with this event. Our Plunge Ambassadors for this year’s Plunge are Daniel Fultz and Kayla Dannenmueller. They are both SOMO athletes, and they have been working for months to help spread awareness of the Plunge!

“Come join me in taking the plunge,” Fultz said. “Your support means so much to me and my team.”

Polar Plunge sponsors include: River Radio, Banterra Bank, Coad Toyota, The Bank of Missouri, Noon Optimist Club, Red Letter Communications Inc., American Family Insurance – Laurel and Chris Adkisson, St. Francois County Board, Ziglin Signs, Culvers, AID, Cape County Parks, Scooters, SERVPRO, Century Casinos, the Cape Girardeau Fire Department, the Cape Girardeau Police Department and the Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department.

For more information about the Polar Plunge, please contact Penny Williams, at 573-579-4233 or email

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.

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