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Tucson residents take a dip at the 2019 Polar Plunge

2019 Special Olympics Polar Plunge
Posted at 3:17 PM, Mar 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-10 20:08:15-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Despite the warm temperatures in southern Arizona, people of all ages took to the icy water of Highland Vista pool in Tucson for the 11th annual Polar Plunge.

"For us Arizonans, 60 degrees is pretty cold," Special Olympics coordinator Tiaffni Jaseph said with laughter.

With the help of 1000 pounds of ice, 17 teams came together Saturday morning to help support Special Olympics Arizona. Once the participants showed off their creative costumes it was time to brave the cold water.

With a goal of bringing communities together in support of the 180,000 Arizonans with disabilities, the annual event continues to promote involvement for all.

"We're trying to show that are athletes deserve to be included, our big thing is to promote inclusion in and out of schools," Jaseph said. She adds, "We're trying to get them involved like everybody else."

With more than 100 plungers freezin' for a reason, the event help raise $23,000. For Special Olympics coach Tadd Scheffel those funds will only continue to help train and support programs for thousands of athletes.

"Everything that Special Olympics do is by donation," Scheffel explained. He adds, "To be able to continue these programs and make sure we have all these great resources for our kids, events like these are great."

Since beginning more than a decade ago the funraiser has donated more than $150,000 to Special Olympics Arizona.