Cold for a cause: 20 take on Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Indiana

Twenty people made a splash at IPFW's Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Indiana on Feb. 13, 2016.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – It was around 10 degrees outside when Sara Hudnall jumped into a pool Saturday morning, with the wind chills making it more like 10 degrees below zero. She was one of 20 people who participated in the Polar Plunge benefiting Special Olympics Indiana.

This is Hudnall’s sixth year taking an icy dip for Special Olympics Indiana. She said she comes back each year for the fun of the event.

“Everyone just loves it so much and it’s such a fun environment,” Hudnall described.

But there’s one other reason that brings her back each year: her cousin.

“He’s 11. He’s amazing,” she said. Her cousin is autistic and participates in Special Olympics. Although he lives in Illinois, the Polar Plunge is a way of thinking of him.

This is the organization’s signature fundraising event. There are 16 sites throughout the state that host a Polar Plunge event during January and February, including the one Saturday at Indiana- University Purdue- University’s student housing. In 2015, all the efforts helped raise $600,000 for Special Olympics Indiana.

The group at IPFW raised nearly $4,000 on Saturday.

Another plunger, Brad Sir Louis, has been participating for the past three years. He said the water is a big shock when you go in, but it’s not so bad once you get out. “I actually felt warmer when I got out quickly. It’s still cold, but it’s the wind mostly.”

In order to plunge, participates had to raise at least $75, or $50 for students.

The next opportunity to be ‘Freezin’ for a Reason’ is Feb. 20 at Metea County Park, off of Union Chapel Road. NewsChannel 15’s Rob Lydick will be at the event. For more information or to register for the Polar Plunge, click here

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