Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to the North Hempstead Polar Plunge for Special Olympics New York! Below you will find the timeline of events for the Polar Plunge. Please be aware that below is a tentative timeline. Make sure you are check your email for information from firstname.lastname@example.org. We will keep this site as up to date as possible.
- 10am-Reg Opens
GENERAL EVENT INFORMATIONQ: What is the minimum amount that I need to raise to participate?
- A: Individual Plungers are encouraged to raise $150. By raising $150, you will receive an official Polar Plunge hoodie the day of the plunge. Raise more money and receive more great prizes! Incentive prizes will be sent out after the plunge.
- A: You can turn your money in at the Registration area on Plunge Day. This includes cash, checks, and money orders. Credit card donations are also accepted at Registration.
- A: Anyone that raises $250 or more will qualify for additional incentives. These incentives will be sent out AFTER the plunge. Check out our Incentives tab to see what other fun swag you could win.
- A: As far as you want! There are no "plunge police" making sure that you go in. Some choose to go all the way under, while others go ankle-deep and then go home. Everyone is a Plunger in our book! We do have photographers in the water so try to make it out to them to get the BEST plunge picture you can!
- A: While we do not have any age restrictions, participants under the age of 18 must have written consent from a parent or legal guardian. Over the years, many young children have participated quite safely and we defer to the parents on what makes the most sense for their family. Remember, Plunging can mean dipping a hand or a big toe, which is plenty of cold water for a little one!
- A: Pretty much whatever you want, within the following guidelines: You must wear shoes of some sort. We recommend old sneakers, crocs, or water shoes. Flip flops fall off easily. Lewd or indecent bathing suits or outfits are not permitted. Please remember that this is a family event. Participants who disregard this policy will be asked to cover up, or will be escorted from the park. There is a costume contest! Prizes for the best individual and best team costume will be given out so we strongly encourage costumes!
- A: The most fun you'll ever have at the beach in the winter!
- A: Bring a plastic bag for your wet clothes. Don't wear any jewelry that you are afraid to lose. If you want to take your cell phone with you, put it in a plastic bag so it won't get wet.
DONATIONS / FUNDRAISINGQ: Who should checks be made out to?
- A: Checks should be made out to Special Olympics New York. Please include in the memo area of the check the Plunger's name that will receive the credit.
- A: Call or email us and we can help! We can check on the back end to see what the problem was.
- A: Donations to the Plunge are accepted at any time of the year, and simply need to be mailed or delivered to: Special Olympics New York, 560 Broadhollow Road, Suite 106, Melville, NY 11747 Please be sure that the name of the individual or team that the donations should be credited to is clearly indicated.
- A: All donations should be turned in at the event Registration, these additional funds will be added to your fundraising total. You can also drop your donations off to our offices at 560 Boradhollow Road, Suite 106, Melville, NY 11747. Please contact Rebecca Hoffmann to coordinate a time.
- A: Charitable contributions are non-refundable, and the minimum Plunge registration fee is considered a charitable contribution and is therefore also non-refundable.
- A: Individual Plunge participants can enter donations in the system, but they must be confirmed by the staff at Special Olympics New York. All donations cash, check, money order received via mail or in person are entered by the administrative support staff for the Plunge. Contributions in this form should be mailed to Special Olympics New York, 560 Broadhollow Road, Suite 106, Melville, NY 11747 for processing. Please allow at least 5-7 days from receipt of the donations for totals to reflect online.
- A: Generally speaking, contributions will be entered no more than 5-7 days after they are received by Special Olympics New York. When checking on a donation that has been mailed, please remember to allow 2-3 days for handling by the USPS. During the week of the Plunge, processing time WILL increase due to the volume of mail received. In this case, contributions may or may not appear on your webpage prior to the event.
- A: Yes, that is an excellent way to raise additional funds on behalf of your Plunge. All you need to do is complete a request with your employer. They will have us verify your donation and will send us the matching funds — usually within 6 weeks, sometimes longer.
TEAM INFORMATIONQ: What is the minimum amount that my team needs to raise?
- A: Teams are not required to raise any specific amount; however, every team member still must raise at least $150.
- A: All Plungers must fund-raise individually. However, we are aware that in some cases a family member or a company will issue one check that is intended to cover multiple team members, but will just use the team name. You can help us to avoid this by asking donors to indicate in advance exactly who they are sponsoring and in what amounts. If that information is not included ahead of time but the donor did intend for it be split among team members, please contact us at email@example.com. If you are bringing a bulk check or dollar amount with you to the event registration, PLEASE have exactly how you would like the funds split up between each Plunger written out or the donation will go to whichever team member is handing it in during registration.
- A: We are happy to work with teams to assist in promoting participation in this event. Send us the information and we will post it on our social media accounts. Please email Rebecca Hoffmann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPECTATORSQ: As a spectator, where is the best place to watch the Plunge?
- A: Spectators are welcome to stand along the outside perimeter of the fence line designating the official "Plunge Zone" in order to watch the action; however, they will not be allowed entry into the Plunge Zone. For those Plungers who need photographic proof, we recommend taking a waterproof camera to the water with you and asking a fellow Plunger to capture the moment. Another option is to delay your Plunge until the bulk of the crowd has already entered and exited the water, making it easier for your supporters to see you from the spectator area.
- A: No! Spectators are welcome to the event free of charge. There are, however, tons of great food and beverage vendors, crafters and other merchandise for sale at the event so you might want to have some money on hand for when you see that sweatshirt you just can't live without!
- A: If you simply want to let us know that you are no longer attending, there is no need. We expect a certain % of no-shows each year and plan accordingly.
- A: Absolutely! Please contact your regional Plunge staff and they will help you arrange that!