The Polar Bear Plunge at Wildwood, presented by Law Enforcement Torch Run, is a unique opportunity for individuals, organizations, and businesses to support Special Olympics New Jersey athletes by jumping into the frigid Atlantic waters during January.

Plunge Schedule and Location

10:00 a.m. – Registration Opens

12:45 p.m. – Plungers head to beach

1:00 p.m. – PLUNGE!!!

1:15 p.m. – Lunch

Wildwoods Convention Center – 4501 Boardwalk, Wildwood, NJ, US

REGISTRATION TIERS

We encourage all plungers to register early to avoid the plunge minimum increase and to allow ample time for fundraising. 

Early Bear ($100 minimum): September – December 31

Late Bear ($110 minimum): January 1 – January 14

On-Site Bear ($125): January 15 

REGISTERING FOR THE IN-PERSON PLUNGE 

 Here’s how to get started:

  1. Register online for $25 to get started and set up a customizable fundraising page
  2. The great news is the $25 registration fee counts toward the minimum. Want to reach the minimum now? You can add an additional donation during the checkout process to get you there.
  3. Once registered, share your fundraising page with family and friends via email and social media. Track donations right from your fundraising page, respond to donors and monitor fundraising progress as you get closer to your minimum.
  4. Don’t stop there! As you raise more money for Special Olympics New Jersey, you will also earn some fresh Polar Bear Plunge incentives. Check out the Plunge Incentive page to see what you can earn.

REGISTERING FOR THE VIRTUAL PLUNGE 

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Register online for $25 to get started and set up a customizable fundraising page
  2. The great news is the $25 registration fee counts toward the $110 minimum ($10 shipping fee), meaning only $85 more needs to be raised which you can add as an additional donation during the checkout process.
  3. Once registered, share your fundraising page with family and friends via email and social media. Track donations right from your fundraising page, respond to donors and monitor fundraising progress as you get closer to the $110 minimum.
  4. Don’t stop there! As you raise more money for Special Olympics New Jersey, you will also earn some fresh Polar Bear Plunge incentives. Check out the Plunge Incentive page to see what you can earn.

Click here to visit the Virtual plunge page for more information.

ALL PLUNGERS, INCLUDING TEAMS AND TEAM MEMBERS, MUST RAISE THE MINIMUM TO PARTICIPATE.

 

OFFLINE DONATIONS

  • If you have donation checks to submit, please use the offline donation form that contains instructions on how and where to send them. Please send offline donation forms and checks postmarked no later than January 10.
  • If you have cash to turn in, we suggest you consider making an online donation to your fundraising page for the cash total. Alternatively, you can use cash to purchase a money order. You can then send in a money order just as you would send a check using the offline donation form. Please DO NOT send cash via mail.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the minimum amount that I need to raise to participate in the event?

ALL PLUNGERS must raise the minimum to plunge based on their registration tier. If plunging as a team, ALL TEAM MEMBERS are still required to raise the minimum. Charitable contributions are non-refundable, and the minimum plunge requirement is considered a contribution, and therefore, non-refundable.

What incentives are available to participants who raise more than the minimum?

Our participants look forward to the awesome Plunge gear every year! Please take a look at our incentives page for the levels based on individual fundraising goals.

How old do you have to be to Plunge?

There is no age requirement to participate in a Polar Bear Plunge. Young children are welcome to join, but that decision is up to the child's parent or guardian. A waiver is included in the online registration process, and it must be approved or "clicked," by an adult. Those under 18 years of age are required to have a parent or guardian present at the event. If you do not register online, paper waivers are available at registration, as well.

How long does check-in take?

We have streamlined our check-in process but can never predict when crowds will be heaviest. We encourage you to arrive early to check-in on the day of the event and enjoy the Plunge atmosphere. All participants MUST check-in prior to Plunging to turn in funds, receive incentives, and receive Plunger access materials to be allowed to the site. Bring all donations with you when you come to check-in. Cash, charge, and checks are accepted.

What are some tips to make check-in go faster?
  • Register online. We take registrations on the day of but it’s MUCH faster if you’ve already registered online…plus you’ll save yourself $25 (Late Registration = $125).
  • When possible, contact us prior to arriving at registration with questions about online donations or issues regarding registration. If questions arise that day, we will do our best to help you with them in a timely manner.
What do I wear to Plunge?

You can wear whatever you want to Plunge – a bathing suit, street clothes, and even costumes! Take a look at some past plunge costumes for ideas.

Where can I change before and after I Plunge?

We provide changing rooms for men and women. Law enforcement personnel will be at the entrance to monitor the area, but please note that neither the event committee, Wildwoods Convention Center nor Special Olympics New Jersey is responsible for personal belongings left inside the changing rooms that are lost or stolen during the course of the event. Leave items at your own risk. Spectators are not allowed access to the changing areas. If an individual needs to be accompanied for a certain reason, please explain to the law enforcement at the entrance of the rooms to gain access.

What else should I bring to Plunge?

For the best Plunge experience, make sure to bring the following:

  • A towel to dry off and warm up with.
  • Old shoes, aquatic shoes, etc. Don’t forget to bring a pair of dry shoes to wear afterward.
  • A duffel bag, backpack, garbage bag, etc. It’s a good idea to bring a bag for dry clothes and your Plunge incentives, as well as a plastic bag for your wet clothes.
  • Dry replacement clothes. After you’re done Plunging, it’s nice to have some warm and dry clothes for the journey home.
  • Another Plunger! Recruit a friend, family member, co-worker, or acquaintance and get them to Plunge with you. It’s always more fun to Plunge with someone!
How else can I have an awesome Plunge experience?
  • Do NOT dive or flip into the water. This is a safety precaution for all Plungers that is strictly enforced by the Dive Team.
  • We advise you not to Plunge after drinking alcohol. Intoxicated people will not be permitted to Plunge.
  • Leave valuables at home or with a spectator. Special Olympics New Jersey is not responsible for items that are lost or stolen.
  • Try not to run out of the water after you Plunge. Keep in mind that everything is wet and slippery.
  • Bring along warm clothes to wear after you Plunge that are easy to put on. The last things you want to deal with when you’re cold and wet are clumsy zippers and buttons!
  • Carpool! Parking can be crowded so help us out by coming as a group.

Contact Us

If you still have questions about the Plunge, contact us at pbpinfo@sonj.org.