HELENA — Spring Meadow Lake is a popular spot to beat the summer heat, but it’s not a place people tend to think about for taking a dip when the temperature hovers right around zero. Helena Police are asking people to join them in a dip at Spring Meadow on Feb. 12 to benefit Special Olympics.
The event went virtual last year because of the pandemic but is returning to in-person for 2022. Having to cut a hole in a lake’s ice doesn’t necessarily scream "swim here,” but the yearly polar plunge tradition always manages to draw a large number of participants and onlookers that want to see people brave the frigid waters.
“Officers will be plunging, as well. This will be my first plunge, so I’ll be plunging,” says Helena Police Department Officer Alex Nimmick.
Nimmick says that the polar plunge helps over 3,600 special Olympic athletes. Since the event began, they’ve raised over $650,000 for Montana Special Olympics. As of February 2, the campaign has raised a little over $12,000 of its goal of $36,000.
”So, my youngest sister, she has Down syndrome and she does participate in Special Olympics. It's not here in Montana, it’s out of state. But I do highly encourage anyone, even if you don't have anyone in your life, to come out to support these athletes. It's a great cause to get behind,” says Nimmick.
Anyone is able to register to be a plunger or simply come out to cheer on participants. There are different incentives for plungers to raise pledges. Depending on how much is raised, shirts, beanies, mugs, and even a portable music player can be won as prizes.
This year’s theme is superheroes so make sure to come dressed as who you think could best handle the freezing temperatures.
If you’d like to participate in the plunge yourself or donate to the cause you can find more information here: https://www.classy.org/campaign/sweetheart-passion-plunge-2022/c345724