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Thursday, Apr 25, 2019
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Jump in ice cold water at Adventure Island for the Special Olympics

Adventure Island will host its first Polar Plunge on Saturday, a fundraiser for Special Olympics in which do-gooders jump into cold water for a good cause.

The water park adjacent to Busch Gardens in Tampa will let families, companies and groups dare each other to make a big splash Saturday by plopping into the waters of Adventure Island's chilled wave pool.

The statewide Polar Plunge benefits Special Olympics Florida athletes. Expect to see fun team costumes, music and more. The money raised will provide a year of training and competition for more than 50,000 Special Olympics Florida athletes.

"Plungers will have the opportunity to either dip a toe or make a big splash in the cool waters in order to qualify for the fundraiser," a news release said. So, chickens are welcome.

Plungers will enter in groups of 40 to 50 at a time and will be granted access to the rest of Adventure Island's (heated) attractions afterward. The park is open until 6 p.m. Saturday. Participants who raise $100 gain entry to the park for themselves and a guest.

The event has raised more than $2 million over the last 10 years. Special Olympics Florida helps people with intellectual disabilities participate in sports, training and competition, increasing the public's awareness of their capabilities and needs. It never charges athletes or their families a fee for participating, organizers said, so the work is only possible because of events such as Polar Plunge.

Check-in begins at 8 a.m. and the Polar Plunge begins at 9 a.m. Registration is open at PlungeFL.org.

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