General Event Questions

What is the Polar Plunge?

The Polar Plunge®, present by South Dakota Law Enforcement as part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run®, is an annual fundraiser where individuals, organizations, and businesses raise money for Special Olympics South Dakota athletes by jumping into frigid winter waters. From January to November, there are 9 opportunities across South Dakota to pledge and take the Plunge!

What is the minimum amount that I need to raise to participate in the event?

All Plungers must raise a minimum of $100. If Plunging as a team, the team must raise at least $100 per person.

What incentives are available to participants who raise more than the minimum $100?

Incentives are distributed at the following levels:

• $100

• $250

• $500

• $750

• $1,000

• $1,500

How deep is the water?

Each Plunge location is different, but the water will never be more than waist-high (for adults). If you want to be submerged entirely, all you have to do is bend your knees!

How old do you have to be to Plunge?

We do not have an age requirement to participate in the Polar Plunge. In order to be allowed to Plunge, all participants must read and sign a Waiver. Participants under the age of 18 are required to have a parent or guardian sign the Waiver before they are allowed to Plunge. Young children are welcome to participate, but that decision is entirely up to their parent or guardian’s sole discretion.

Where can I change before and after I Plunge?

We provide separate changing areas for men and women at all Plunge locations. Volunteers will be there to monitor the area, but please note that Special Olympics South Dakota and the Plunge committee are not responsible for any personal items that are lost or stolen from the changing areas. Leave your personal belongings at your own risk.

What do I wear to Plunge?

You can wear pretty much whatever you want, but please note:

• Shoes are required. Flip-flops are not allowed, so be sure to wear shoes that strap to your feet.

• Costumes are highly encouraged! Make sure costumes are appropriate and non-discriminatory. Polar Plunges are family events! Event staff has the right to ask participants to change before being allowed to Plunge.

• Wetsuits are not allowed. Remember, you are “Freezin for a Reason!”

Are Plunge incentives for sale?

We do not sell any of our Plunge incentives. We use them to thank those who participate and reach the various incentive levels.

Donating/Fundraising Questions

Whom should checks be made out to?

Write checks out to “Special Olympics South Dakota” or “SOSD.”

How can I donate without submitting my credit card online?

You can donate by calling us at 605-331-4117 or toll-free at 800-585-2114. You can also bring or give your chosen Plunger a check or cash donation, which will be turned in at the event. You can also mail in your gift to the address below. Be sure to include the Plunger’s name so we know whom to give credit to.

Special Olympics South Dakota

Attn: Polar Plunge

800 E I-90 Lane

Sioux Falls, SD 57104

Are donations tax-deductible?


Is there a Pledge form that I can download to give to people who might want to sponsor me?

Yes, the Plunge Tool Kit and Plunge Brochure include this form.

Will my supporters automatically receive a receipt, or do I need to request them?

We do not automatically issue receipts, but the Plunge Tool Kit includes receipts you can fill out. A donation receipt will be available at each Plunge location – just find a volunteer and request one.

I can’t collect all my pledges before the Plunge. What do I do?

As long as you have the minimum of $100 by the time of the Plunge, you will be able to participate. You will only receive incentives based on the amount of pledges you turn in on the day of the Plunge. All remaining funds can be turned in at a later date. If you receive donations after the Plunge, you can mail them to the address below. Please include your name and Plunge location so we can give you credit.

Special Olympics South Dakota

Attn: Polar Plunge

800 E I-90 Lane

Sioux Falls, SD 57104

Day of Plunge Questions

How long does check-in take?

Our goal is to check-in everyone as quickly as possible so they can enjoy the event. Depending on the event location and number of volunteers, you may have to wait in line to check-in. We apologize for any delays you might experience and ask for your patience and understanding. We recommend attending a pre-registration event if your location offers one.

What are some tips to make check-in go faster?

• Print off the Plunge Tool Kit and fill out the Registration Form, read and sign the Waiver and fill out the pledge form before the day of the Plunge.

• Print off any online funds raised and bring offline donations to registration.

• Arrive 1 – 2 hours early to give yourself plenty of time to register and change before your Plunge.

• If one is available, attend a pre-registration event.

I have raised both online and offline with cash and checks. How will volunteers at Plunge check-in know how much I have raised?

Volunteers and staff will have a list of all Plungers registered online, along with their total amount of pledges raised online up to two (2) days before the event. If you have received donations within the two (2) days prior to the event, please print off a copy of your Plunge webpage so that we can verify your total. We will gladly accept pledges after the event has passed, but remember that incentives will be determined based on the amount raised prior to the event. Please send any donations received after the event to the address below. Please include your name and Plunge location.

Special Olympics South Dakota

Attn: Polar Plunge

800 E I-90 Lane

Sioux Falls, SD 57104

Can I pre-register before the event?

Some of the Plunge locations will offer a pre-registration event a day before the Plunge. Check out your specific Plunge Locations Page for more details. Pre-registration is beneficial for anyone who completed their fundraising efforts early and wishes to turn in their pledges before the day of the event.

Miscellaneous Plunge Questions

Can I Plunge at more than one event?

You sure can! You just need to register yourself and raise funds for each Plunge event. All of your events will appear on your public Plunge page, and supporters will be able to donate to whichever event they chose.

I have a group of people that want to Plunge together. Can we form a team?

Yes! Forming a team is a great way to motivate one another to raise more money for Special Olympics South Dakota. Just print off a Captain Tool Kit to get your group started!

Will my Plunge team be able to jump in together?

Depending on the plunge location, teams may jump in together. If a team is bigger than the allowed number of Plungers, teams may jump in succession.