Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) kicked-off Pop-A-Palooza, the final leg of its “Burrr-tual” (Virtual) Polar Pop, on Feb. 17.

More than 1,500 individuals from all over the state have supported SOPA athletes by signing up for this at-home plunge experience.

The goal of Pop-A-Palooza is to double the participants to 3,000 over the next 10 days.

The Polar Pop invites individuals to sign-up, pop a balloon of icy cold water over their heads, share their pop experience via social media, and challenge their friends and family to participate.

Participants can register as an individual or, better yet, join a group of friends to form a team.

All “burrr-tual plungers” are asked to make a pledge and raise a minimum of $50 to receive an official 2021 long sleeved Polar Pop T-shirt.

As their pledges increase, participants become eligible to earn additional incentives.

If the option to pop a balloon of icy cold water over the head does not appeal to everyone, individuals can choose to register for the event as a “Hibernating Bear.”

This option allows participants to skip the plunge, make a one-time donation of $50 in support of a great cause, and receive a Hibernating Bear t-shirt all while staying warm and dry.

Additionally students from throughout the state have been participating in the Cool Schools Challenge to raise funds for SOPA’s Unified Champion Schools (UCS). This program promotes inclusion and effectively changes school climates through Unified Sports and youth leadership by bringing together students with and without intellectual disabilities as equal peers.

All “burrr-tual plungers” will receive the opportunity to get creative with their challenge and submit their videos to win prizes for the most creative Pop location or costume.

On Saturday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m., all participants are invited to come together virtually for a Polar Pop Celebration that will highlight various challenge videos, feature special guests, dancing and more.

Special Olympics Pennsylvania typically holds eight Polar Plunges around the state, known as the Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley, Capital Area, Beaver County, York County, Erie and Winter Games Polar Plunges.

However, due to the continued increase of COVID-19 cases, these Plunges have shifted to an all-virtual event for the 2021 season.

Polar Plunges have raised millions of dollars across the country for Special Olympics chapters; and, the events are held in conjunction with the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics Pennsylvania.

Polar Pop contributions help athletes achieve their goals, live healthier lives, and have a sense of inclusion within their community.

Visit www.PAPolarPop.org to register or donate.

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