QUINCY -- No matter what the weather, they plan to take the plunge.
The Quincy Polar Plunge takes place Saturday, Feb. 23, at Moorman Lake in Upper Moorman Park.
"We have people who love it when it's warmer, and we have people when it's warmer who are really disappointed," said Heather Davis, Region 8 Assistant Director for Special Olympics Illinois.
But Davis makes one thing perfectly clear to would-be participants.
"People don't have to go underwater if they don't want to," she said. "Just have fun."
Some people see taking the Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge as a once-in-a-lifetime event to raise money for athletes of Special Olympics Illinois.
Others do it every year "to show they can have the same courage our athletes display," Davis said. "We try to really make it a fun experience."
All Polar Plungers must collect a minimum $100 in donations to get an official hooded sweatshirt, available on a first-come, first-serve basis the day of the plunge. Additional incentives are available based on the amount raised.
Individuals and teams -- with a minimum of five participants who each raise the minimum $100 in donations -- are welcome to participate.
Davis said the event typically draws 25 to 30 teams, usually dressed in costumes or uniforms, and ready to have fun for a good cause.
"The money goes to support athletes of Region 8, our local athletes and provides year-round sports and programming free of charge to families," Davis said. "We have leadership training, medical screenings to be in the program. We kind of fill the gaps to reach our athletes to build that can-do attitude for the rest of their lives."
Families also benefit from the program, which helps their children find success.
"So much of our population hears what can't happen, what can't be achieved," Davis said. "Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something. We're finding that for them no matter what their ability is."
Registration for the Quincy Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Illinois can be done at plungeillinois.com or by contacting Heather Davis at 217-322-7451 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the past 20 years, more than 72,500 plungers have raised more than $20.6 million through the Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge.
Plungers are invited to join the conversation and share why they are #FreezinForAReason on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.