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Take a Plunge for Special Olympics

The 5th Annual Polar Plunge will be held at Neshaminy State Park on Saturday, Feb. 23.

It's that time of year again when brave souls take a frosty dip in the Delaware River at Neshaminy Park for the annual Polar Plunge.

The 5th Annual Eastern plunge takes place on Saturday, Feb. 23 and will have people "Freezin' for a Reason"—to support local Special Olympics athletes.

Individuals and teams can register to participate at $50 per person. Teams must consist of a minimum of 10 people and requires pre-registration. And anyone can take the plunge. Participants younger than 18 need a parent or guardian's signature.

"The youngest Plunger we have had has been 6 years old," said Nicole Jones, Special Olympics Pennsylvania's director of communications. 

Jones estimates that the oldest plunger has been somewhere in the 60 to 70 age range.

So far, 540 participants have pre-registered for the 2013 plunge, Jones said. 

If you're too chicken to jump into freezing cold water, you can still participate by making a pledge. If you make a $50 minimum donation for someone else to take the plunge, you'll get a "Too Chicken To Plunge" long-sleeved t-shirt.

Sportscaster Michael Barkann and former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Ike Reese from 94WIP’s "The Mike and Ike Show" will kick things off at the plunge, and Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin will participate in this year's event as well. He'll give autographs and meet and greet with plungers and spectators from 1 to 3 p.m.

Free food, games, moon bouncing (weather permitting), live music and much more will be available starting at 9:30 a.m.

Registration will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. There will be a costume contest and judging from 12 to 12:30 p.m., with awards being given from 12:30 to 1 p.m. Plungers will be briefed on safety at 1:45 p.m. before taking the plunge at 2 p.m.

If this is your first plunge, here are a few do's and don't's you should know.

The Polar Bear Plunge raises money so that children and adults with intellectual disabilities can receive year-round training and competition programs at no cost to themselves or their families through Special Olympics Pennsylvania.

At last year's plunge, more than 700 people jumped into the Delaware River at Neshaminy State Park, according to information on the event website. With nearly two more weeks to register in advance, it's possible that this year's number of participants will surpass last year's.

Get more information on the Patch event listing and other details on the Special Olympics website.

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