ASA begins fundraising for Polar Bear Plunge

Members of Alpha Sigma Alpha pose at the 2012 Polar Bear Plunge. They are currently raising funds for the 2013 plunge.

Photo submitted by Whitney Wasko
Members of Alpha Sigma Alpha pose at the 2012 Polar Bear Plunge. They are currently raising funds for the 2013 plunge.

Alpha Sigma Alpha has begun fundraising for the annual Western Kentucky Polar Bear Plunge and Polar Plunge 5K run which will take place on Feb. 16 in the Kentucky Dam Village state resort park.

This will mark the seventh year ASA has contributed to the plunge in support of one of their national philanthropies, the Special Olympics. Last year the organization was able to raise over $3000 to support the Special Olympics which are held every spring in Roy Stewart Stadium.

Although the plunge is a two-part event, participants are not required to do both the Plunge and the 5K.

In hopes of having more than 550 participants this year, ASA is asking Murray State students and faculty to help the event grow by registering to take the plunge.

While concentrating on word of mouth and social media outlets, each member of the sorority also works to personally raise $75 to plunge by sending out emails to friends and families asking for donations.

ASA also spreads the word about the plunge and 5K by providing an information table in the Curris Center for people to learn more about the event. The information table will be set up on Feb. 4 and 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. where they will be handing out registration forms.

ASA has also contacted all Greek organizations, letting them know of their ability to make team plunges. As the event veers closer to its set date, they will also help spread the word to the Murray community by setting up a registration table at a local restaurant.

Megan Koch, the philanthropic chairman of ASA, said she has never plunged before but after seeing the whole event and how it supports something so important to her, she is determined to plunge this year.

“The Special Olympics is near and dear to my heart” Koch said. “I have a little sister with multiple disabilities and she has participated in Special Olympic events. My entire life I have been exposed to many children with disabilities. I know firsthand the impact it makes on one child to be able to compete in Special Olympics. This event raises awareness and makes it possible for those children.”

Ashley Ciallella, sophomore and member of ASA from Paducah, Ky., said the Polar Bear Plunge is a perfect way for her to support a good cause and have fun with her sisters and friends at the same time.

“Last year was my first year taking the plunge and I loved the experience knowing we were all helping the Special Olympics” Ciallella said. “It was definitely an adrenaline rush!”

The Polar Plunge and Polar 5K is truly a unique event and includes an exciting, festive atmosphere with food and great prizes. For the creative plungers, the Polar Bear Plunge will also host its annual costume contest during the event.

Every Polar Plunger who participates in the event will receive an official Polar Plunge T-shirt and Polar Bear Club Certificate, but those who raise more money can earn even greater rewards. The top male and female fundraisers will be named King and Queen of the plunge, and the top younger fundraisers will be named Prince and Princess.

The Western Kentucky Polar Bear Plunge is one of six plunges that will be held in Kentucky in 2013. In the last 14 years Polar Plunge events have raised more than $5 million in support of the Special Olympics athletes.

Story by Alex Berg, Staff writer.