The 16th annual Polar Plunge at Eagle Creek Reservoir was a huge success this year as it always is. More than 700 participants were “Freezin’ For a Reason” as they jumped into a foot and a half of frigid ice water in 10-degree weather. $137,000 was raised to support the Special Olympics. And while the water may be cold, The Polar Plunge always warms our hearts.
Many jumpers dressed up in an array of costumes to show off their team spirit before taking the plunge. A few entered the costume contest that was hosted by Kyle and Rachel of RadioNOW 100.9. Contestant themes included Dunkin’ Donut girls wearing sprinkle-clad inner tubes, waddling penguins and hunky pharmacists from Walgreens. An intimidating zombie hunter fought his way to third place, our own Indy Mojo team placed second in their Super Mario getup while preforming a short skit. Taking the lead were the retired super heroes and villains of Gotham City, perennial attendees supporting Johnson County Special Olympics, who played the part so well that they were barely able to make their way on stage.
After the intense costume contest, participants were ready to take the plunge into the frigid reservoir one group after another. Jumpers sprinted out of the water after the dive searching for warmth and towels!
First time jumper and street team member Kaleigh Bowers talks about her experience when diving into the water:
“My first jump was amazing! When we walked up to the water and waited for the countdown, my heart was racing! As soon as they yelled “GO”, I was neck deep in the water. It definitely took my breath away, but the rush of adrenaline afterwards was totally worth it! My advice for first time jumpers is going to be the same thing my group told me: “Don’t panic about jumping in the water. It’s not the jump that’s the bad part… It’s the two hour wait before you jump.” My toes were frozen before I even hit the water.”
The Polar Plunge won’t be back for another year, but it’s never too late to make a donation.
For video footage from The Polar Plunge, check out the latest episode of Mojo Minute below:
It’s that time of the year again when many of the citizens of Indiana forgo common sense and jump into the Eagle Creek Reservoir in the cold of winter. But put your mind to ease; there is a good reason for this temporary departure from sanity. The event is the annual Polar Plunge supporting the Indiana Special Olympics.
This year is the 16th year for the Polar Plunge and it continues to grow larger and larger each time. Last year was a record-setting year in terms of number of participants and money raised. The Mojo team has also been pushing to improve their personal fund-raising efforts as well.
First time participant Kaleigh Bowers talks about her thoughts going into Saturday.
Since I HATE the cold, I’m terrified for this. I keep telling myself, “It’s for a good cause.” I’m really excited for it, though. I’ve been wanting to do it for years, but I always chicken out. So this year, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and going all out. I’m even dunking my head under!
This previous Sunday, March 1st, the group hosted a Mario Kart tournament at Moon Dog Tavern. The event saw twenty participants battling it out old-school style on the Nintendo 64. Braving the snow in making the trek out to support the Mojo Team, the racers raised over $200 to add to the team total raised for the Special Olympics.
For the new jumpers I say don’t stress out about the temps. I’ve seen people get all out of shape – from nervous energy to straight fear – before the jump. They need to try and relax and enjoy the party because that’s what it is
– Jim Alley, veteran jumper
Special Raffle – This Thurzday Only!
There have also been numerous raffles leading up to the event to help raise money. It is my pleasure to be able to announce a new raffle this Thursday, March 5th only.
For $1 a ticket (or six tickets for $5) you will be entered into a drawing for a ticket to MojoStock 2015, with 2nd, 3rd and 4th place raffle participants winning a ticket to Infected Mushroom, Excision, or a custom-etched lighter from Naptwon Etching.
This is sure to be a big drawing, so make sure to grab a couple of raffle tickets to increase your chances of winning. Also, it’s for the kids!
How you can help (while staying warm and dry)
Last year the Mojo Team wore dresses and beards as they made plunge. This year, keeping with their Nintendo fundraising theme, the group will be going as characters from Super Mario Brothers, with a wide-variety of confirmed characters.
This year the team is hoping to get more support the day of the event and need YOU present to help cheer them on in the costume contest.
Get up a bit earlier than normal this Saturday, the morning of the Plunge, to support your team. No need to get wet or cold; just show up! Besides donating money to one of the team members, your support the morning of the event is the best way to keep the team warm on their aqueous trek.
This is the kind of event that is important to Indy Mojo. We know how to put on a good party and entertain the masses, but we do not stand isolated merely as a music and event promoters. We are part of this community and strive to do our part to give back to it. So whether it is – through your time, money, or presence at Eagle Creek Reservoir on Saturday – get out and give back!
Polar Plunge benefiting Special Olympics Indiana
Saturday March 7
Eagle Creek Reservoir
Schedule of events:
Registration: 8:00 A.M. – 11:00 A.M. Eagle Creek Beach
Early Bird Plunge: 8:30 A.M. (First 100 Plungers to designate online)
COSTUME CONTEST: 9:45 A.M. (MOJO NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT – COME CHEER US ON!)
Opening Ceremonies: 10:00 A.M.
power Plunge: 10:30 A.M. Eagle Creek reservoir (MOJO WILL JUMP AT THIS TIME)
power After Splash Bash: rick’s boatyard
champions together high school Plunge: 12:30 P.M. Eagle Creek reservoir
champions together After Splash Bash: colts pavilion
Saturday March 1st saw a brief respite from a winter cursed by an unfamiliar phenomenon called the “polar vortex.” The morning air was crisp, but warmer than normal for the time of year. Eagle Creek Park was alive with hundreds of people present for the 15th annual Indianapolis Polar Plunge benefiting the Special Olympics.
Records were set in both attendance (647 brave participants) and dollars raised ($140,000). History was made, too, as it was the first time most could remember having to cut into ice to make the actual plunge.
As longtime sponsors and participants, IndyMojo jumped in costume again in 2014- this year as bearded ladies. The coed team consisted of three women in dresses with painted-on beards and five bearded men- also all in in dresses, full makeup, wigs and tights.
Shortly before the costume contest at 9:45 the Indy Mojo Bearded Ladies appeared amongst the gathered masses- obviously a crowd favorite conjuring many smiles and laughs… and posing for lots of pictures.
Other notable themed group themes included:
- French Kiss- a combination of the band Kiss with French baguettes, berets, and mime shirts
- army outfits with plungers attached to helmets
- characters from Forrest Gump who acted out the rally scene in Washington D.C.
Due to the extreme weather, the entire reservoir was frozen over. In order to have the plunge, an area the size of a hotel swimming pool was cut out of the ice.
The ice really freaked me out,” said Kayleigh Dye, two year veteran of the plunge, when asked about the condition of the water. “Complete intimidation from last year when there was no ice on the water. Knowing that I was going to willingly jump in that water made me a little nauseous.
The Indianapolis Polar Plunge functions differently than most (who use a pool or some other artificial water source) due to its venue, Eagle Creek Reservoir.
Four-year veteran Lindsey Saxton had this to say about the differences:
I did it twice with my service group in college, but we felt like more of a group of individuals. When you run through a hole in the ice surrounded by firefighters, there’s much more of a communal atmosphere than jumping into what feels like a large dunk tank.
The Indy Mojo Bearded Ladies raised $1100 and are looking forward to growing their participation in 2015- not only in the amount raised and the number of people making the jump, but also in the number of people coming to attend the event as spectators.
“Next year, we need to bring a lot of supporters to cheer us on during the costume contest,” said Matt Shatzel, another first-time jumper.
It’s not too late to donate to the Special Olympics. Gifts of any size can be made here.