Cubs to bear the cold a for good cause

The Newport Cubs were the winners of the costume contest at the 2018 Polar Plunge. The contest’s theme was “Star Wars.” (Courtesy photo)

Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Oregon isn’t just about fundraising and jumping into freezing waters, the event is about celebrating uniqueness and value within our community.

For the past three years, students and staff from Newport High School, along with Principal Shelley Moore from Sam Case Elementary, have taken part in order to raise money for the Unified Club and basketball team in Newport.

The funds that are raised are meant to allow the various teams to enjoy activities and other fun avenues for the kids.

Whether individually or as a team, proceeds go to various groups and Special Olympics Oregon. A minimum of $50 in pledges is then raised for the event.

“When a Unified Team Plunges, half the money they raise go to Special Olympics Oregon, and the other half go back to their club or team,” ECEL program director Jill Sellers said. 

The Polar Plunge event was started back in 2007 by the Bend Police Department and Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office. It is considered a Law Enforcement Torch Run event. More than 70 law enforcement agencies throughout the state raise money and awareness year-round for the athletes of Special Olympics Oregon.

“On plunge day, you run or jump into the water and get out as fast as you can,” Sellers said. “You decide how far you want to go in. It’s all done for fun and to raise money for a great cause.”

This year’s event will take place Saturday, Feb. 15, at Crystal Lake Sports Park at the boat ramp, in Corvallis.

Costumes will also be allowed during the plunge.

“Every year we come up with a theme because many teams come in costume and there is a costume contest. We won the costume, contest our first year with a Star Wars theme,” Sellers said.

Financial donations are currently being accepted online at

“It is our responsibility as a Unified Champion School to get that message out, not only to our school community but also to our surrounding community and anyone else we come in contact with,” Sellers said.


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