Ice-Breaking Year at Virginia Beach

4,000+ members of the Plunger Colony came together to Raise a Record-Breaking $1.350 Million for Special Olympics Virginia at 28th Polar Plunge® Festival.
woman smiling and holding hands with someone off-camera

4,000+ members of the Plunger Colony came together to Raise a Record-Breaking $1.350 Million for Special Olympics Virginia at 28th Polar Plunge® Festival.

It was rosy cheeks, cold toes and cool costumes as far as the eye could see this weekend in Virginia Beach as 4,000+ members of our plunger colony teamed up to brrrave the chilly Atlantic at the 2020 Polar Plunge® Festival, Feb. 7-8. Plungers and runners not only celebrated a record-breaking $1.350 million raised – the most ever and counting! – for Special Olympics Virginia, but also the event’s tenth million dollar year!

2020 Virginia Beach Polar Plunge Festival
It was an ice-breaking year for the Virginia Beach Plunge – where 4,000+ members of the Colony came together to raise $1.350 million for athletes across the state.

“At Special Olympics Virginia, our vision is to inspire the first unified generation; a generation of people who respectfully include each other in the school, in the workplace, in the community,” said Rick Jeffrey, Special Olympics Virginia President. “PLUNGING today included people with intellectual disabilities and those without; people of all ages, genders, races and religions; students and teachers; doctors and lawyers; military and law enforcement; ONE COLONY. And all so that we can unify communities in Hampton Roads and across Virginia through the transformative power of Sport, Health and Education.”

Saturday morning, runners and walkers dashed and double dipped (if they were brrrave enough!) during the SunTrust 4 Miler and 1 Miler along the boardwalk. Before the Plunge at 2 pm, plungers and festival goers enjoyed live music, the T.J.Maxx Boardwalk Boogie Costume Parade and Contest, vendors, a life-size sand sculpture, ice carvings, food and fun.

Special thanks to the many groups who helped us team up for the coolest event of 2020.

Two people holding hands and smiling inside an ocean.

See more photos here.

659 students from 17 middle and high schools raised $46,000 at this year’s Cool School Challenge, even though they couldn’t make their icy splash Friday because of the windy weather.

Saturday morning, 467 people got cold feet for a cool cause during the Plunge 4 Miler and 1 Miler, presented by SunTrust. Plus, those brrrave enough took their first icy dip at noon during our Double Dip Dare (all runners who also registered to Plunge and raised the $100 minimum were invited to make a mad dash into the Atlantic at noon, and then be the coolest people on the beach when they double dipped at 2 pm as a part of the main Plunge).

The Ice-Aholics team took home the Top Team fundraising award, with $92,159 raised.

Middle school student Allison White raised $15,003 and claimed the top individual fundraising prize and some cool Polar Plunge swag!

This year’s event is presented by FM99, 106.9 THE FOX, WTKR News3, The Wawa Foundation, Virginia Natural Gas, Walmart, WGNT, the Virginia Knights of Columbus and the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Virginia. Premier level partners include Booz Allen Hamilton, Vigilant, Perfect Event Rentals, Flagship Visuals, the City of Virginia Beach and GEICO.

Since 1993, more than 56,000 plungers have raised in excess of $16 million for Special Olympics Virginia. The inaugural Polar Plunge took place in 1993 at the Clarion Hotel when 108 plungers raised more than $11,000 for Special Olympics Virginia.

This event is one of five Polar Plunge® Festivals in Virginia. In addition to the Virginia Beach event, plunges also will take place in the New River Valley and Northern VA on Saturday, Feb 22; and our Solar Plunge is set for June 13 in Richmond during our largest annual competition, Summer Games. Plungers kicked things off Jan. 22 in Fairfax at the Mosaic District; this plunge raised $39,100.