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RELEASE: SOMO preps for 17th Annual St. Joseph Polar Plunge

St. Joseph Polar Plunge 2022

ST. JOSEPH – The 17th Annual St. Joseph Polar Plunge will take place on Saturday, Feb. 18. Brave men and women from around the area will don disco-themed costumes and swimwear and take “polar” dips into Lake Contrary. 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 St. Joseph and the surrounding area. 

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 Maryville Treatment Center and the St. Joseph Police Department. It will take place at Lake Contrary: 5220 SW Lakefront Ln W, St. Joseph, MO 64504. Day-of registration begins at 11 a.m., and the Plunge starts promptly at 1 p.m.

“It is a wonderful way for everyone to show their support for the SOMO athletes,” Plunge Coordinator Melody Prawitz said.

In 2022, St. Joseph Polar Plungers raised over $30,000 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 $32,000, 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:  

  • Top three fundraisers
  • Top three fundraising groups
  • Top fundraising school

Golden Plunger Awards for the most creative costumes will also be presented to the top three groups and top three 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 to sign up, and email your friends and family to support your Plunge. Paper registration forms are also available at the SOMO North Area Office: 702 S Woodbine Rd., St. Joseph, MO 64507. Mail or deliver pre-registration forms and the minimum $75 contribution to Special Olympics Missouri Plunge North Area: 702 S Woodbine Rd., St. Joseph, MO 64507.

Plunging participants will receive an official Polar Plunge commemorative shirt and bragging rights for freezing your fur off. 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 with this event. Our Plunge Ambassadors for this year’s Plunge are Leah Shoemaker and Charlie Phillips. They are both SOMO athletes, and they have been working for months to help spread awareness of the Plunge!

“I’m excited to see all the costumes and to take the Plunge with my friends,” Phillips said.

St. Joseph Polar Plunge sponsors include: Missouri Association of Student Councils, Knights of Columbus, Randolph Seating and Mobility, Sunshine Electronic, Hillyard and Buchanan County.

For more information about the Polar Plunge, please contact Melody Prawitz at 816-233-6232 or email

PLEASE NOTE: The St. Joseph Polar Plunge is separate from the Chillicothe Polar Plunge on Feb. 11 and the Kirksville Polar Plunge on Feb. 25.

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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