Maui News

Special Olympics Hawaiʻi’s Paradise Plunge Fundraiser Returns with a Splash

May 11, 2021, 8:15 AM HST
* Updated May 10, 3:59 PM
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Photo courtesy: Special Olympics Hawaiʻi

Following the success of Special Olympics Hawaii’s first Paradise Plunge, the fundraiser returns to make waves this summer for its second event.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization last year reinvented its traditional, in-person Polar Plunge event in which fundraisers dipped into a chilly pool of ice water.

The new “Paradise Plunge” is a socially-distanced event in which  participants can safely support local athletes by sharing a video or photo of themselves taking a dip in the ocean or performing any type of water activity – such as beach bodyboarding, surfing or taking the plunge in a swimming pool.

Registration for this year’s Paradise Plunge is now open at give.classy.org/paradiseplunge2021. For more information, visit www.sohawaii.org.

“While we work towards a safe return to in-person sports, fundraisers like our Paradise Plunge are more important than ever before, in order to allow us to continue to provide virtual and online programs for our athletes,” said Tracey Bender, Special Olympics Hawaii’s Director of Development. “This fundraiser allows us to continue to offer the community a safe (and fun) way to support our athletes, challenging them to take the plunge at their favorite beach – soaking in the breathtaking views our islands have to offer – or even taking the plunge at their favorite, neighborhood swimming pool.”

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The Paradise Plunge is open to individuals, families and student groups, and anyone else who wants to take the plunge to support Special Olympics Hawaii athletes. All plungers are asked to raise a minimum $100 donation to receive a Paradise Plunge event shirt. There also is a reduced fundraising goal of $50 for students of all ages, elementary through college. There are additional mahalo gifts for the plungers who raise $250, $500, $1,000 or more. Register as a Passionate Plunger and raise $500, or as a Super Plunger and raise $1,000.

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Participants can take the plunge by planning a day to “sea” their favorite beach and going diving, boating, surfing or even taking a dip in the swimming pool if they’d prefer. Plungers are asked to send photos or a 60-second, horizontal video clip of themselves performing their “Paradise Plunge” at www.wetransfer.com to [email protected] The deadline for submissions is Sunday, July 11.

Following the completion of the event, Special Olympics Hawaiʻi will release a 2021 Paradise Plunge compilation video that participants are “shore” to enjoy and can share with donors and supporters.

Polar Plunges are typically held across the Northeastern and Midwestern states, where participants jump into frozen lakes or ponds to help raise funds for local nonprofits. Since 2010, Special Olympics Hawaiʻi’s annual Polar Plunge has helped raise $565,200 for Special Olympics Hawaiʻi health and sports programs.

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Special Olympics Hawaiʻi thanks its partners statewide whose support is key to making year-round sports, inclusion and health opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities a reality.

Proceeds from this fundraiser will help Special Olympics Hawaiʻi continue to provide virtual and online programs and ensure more than 3,400 athletes can one day return to in-person sports. Funds also will help to ensure the organization can provide the necessary equipment and PPE for athletes and coaches so when they do return to in-person trainings and competitions, they can do so safely.

Special Olympics Hawaiʻi provides year-round sports programs and training for athletes with intellectual disabilities, free of charge. Since 1968, Special Olympics has been changing attitudes about the talents of people with intellectual disabilities and raising awareness to build an inclusive and unified community.

For more information on Special Olympics, please visit www.sohawaii.org. You can also follow Special Olympics Hawaii on Twitter, www.twitter.com/SOHawaii, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsHawaii, and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/SOHawaii.

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