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Polar Panthers Freezin’ for a Reason

polar bear plunge The Cheltenham Polar Panthers are back at it, readying themselves to brave the frigid air and icy water at the Suburban Cool Schools Polar Plunge at Souderton Area High School on Friday, Dec. 13 to raise money for Cheltenham’s Unified Bocce and Track and Field programs and the Special Olympics. 

When students arrive, they will participate in an educational program about inclusion and Special Olympics in a heated tent, then it’s plunge time when they’ll take a long walk off a short platform into Souderton’s outdoor, above ground pool. They’re “Freezin’ for a Reason” and that reason is inclusion.

Those interested in participating can register online, click “Join a Team” and select “Cheltenham Polar Panthers.” Click through to donate to the team or a specific plunger. Donations impact 20,000 athletes statewide and nearly 1,000 athletes in the Philadelphia area.

Cheltenham students, faculty and coaches are joined in this friendly competition by their counterparts from Abington, North Penn, Pennridge, Pennsbury, Souderton, Spring-Ford, Springfield and William Tennent.

Organized and supported by Special Olympics of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, the Polar Bear Plunge brings together students from schools in Montgomery, Chester, and Bucks Counties to celebrate inclusion, promote acceptance and respect, and help raise funds for Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s Unified Champion Schools programs. These fully-inclusive programs engage students with and without intellectual disabilities through Interscholastic Unified Sports teams and leadership clubs at their schools.

Special Olympics provides an array of opportunities on and off the playing field, including Unified Sports, which pairs individuals with and without intellectual disabilities to train and compete on the same team); Athlete Leadership Programs, which trains athletes to assume meaningful leadership roles; Young Athletes program for 2-7-year-olds; and Healthy Athletes which provides health screenings in six different disciplines. Special Olympics is the largest public health organization for people with intellectual disabilities in the world.