Traverse City Polar Plunge: If there ever was a good cause to go jump in an icy Northern Michigan lake, raising funds for Special Olympics is it. On Saturday, February 26, that’s just what a slew of Traverse City area personalities will be doing in Lake Michigan in front of the Holiday Inn West Bay in Traverse City. Traverse City TV personalities from 9&10 News and Fox 32 who will be taking the Polar Plunge include anchor Phil Buehler, reporter Chivon Kloepfer and reporter Kelly Davis. A team of about 20 workers from Pugsley Correctional Facility near Traverse City will be plunging as well.

Plunge registration is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. at Holiday Inn West Bay in Traverse City, followed by the parade of costumes and Polar Plunge at 12:30 p.m. into West Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City. The post-plunge party and awards ceremony are scheduled to begin immediately following the plunge.

Last year the Traverse City plunge (also known as the Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge) raised a record high $480,000 state wide, this year they have raised their goal to $705,000 from all Polar Plunges. Traverse City area residents are encouraged to help SOMI (Special Olympics Michigan) reach its new goal by actively participating in Polar Plunges.

Anyone can take the plunge for a minimum donation or pledges of $50 and pre-register online at Individuals who don’t want to plunge can also collect donations to receive incentive prizes that bare the “Too Chicken to Plunge” logo and to attend the post-plunge party. The annual LETR Polar Plunge is known for its zany costume contest where plungers compete for the Golden Plunger Award. The award honors the plunger with the most creative costume or best jump into the water.All plungers receive incentive prizes and an official 2011 T-shirt. Donation incentive prizes include a Polar Plunge blanket, a Polar Plunge sweatshirt or a Polar Plunge jacket. Funds are raised by collecting donations from friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, etc.

This Polar Plunge is one of 24 LETR Polar Plunges happening throughout Michigan in February and March 2011. Plunge sites include: Alpena, Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Belleville, Cass County, Cheboygan, Clarklake, Detroit, Fenton, Gaylord, Grand Rapids, Holland, Kalamazoo, Lake City, Lansing, Mecosta/Osceola, Mt. Pleasant, Muskegon, Negaunee, Pinckney, Saginaw/Bay City, Sault Ste. Marie, Stanton and Traverse City. 

The Polar Plunge is made possible by the Law Enforcement Torch Run®, a group of police officers and corrections personnel committed to raising funds and awareness for SOMI. Proceeds from the Polar Plunge support the year-round sports training and athletic competition for 18,621 children and adults with intellectual disabilities who live in Michigan.

For more information on the Law Enforcement Torch Run® Polar Plunge or Special Olympics Michigan visit or call (800) 644-6404.

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