Osage Beach Police Department is dispatching a call from hibernation for all Polar Bears. The 15th Annual Polar Plunge and 5K Strut will be held on Feb. 27. 

Osage Beach Police Department is dispatching a call from hibernation for all Polar Bears. The 15th Annual Polar Plunge and 5K Strut will be held on Feb. 27.  

Brave men and women from around the area will don costumes and swimwear and take "polar" dips into the Lake of the Ozarks and/or participate in the 5K Fun Run,  the Polar Bear Strut. 

Their “reason for freezin’” is to benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Missouri.  All proceeds from the event go to the organization. This year’s goal is 600 plungers, 140 strutters and $170,000.

The strut has no age requirement while the Polar Plunge is open to anyone 10 years or older who is a fan of having a good time for a good cause.

The event is hosted by the City of Osage Beach and Osage Beach Police Department and will take place at Public Beach No. 2 at Lake of the Ozarks State Park and City Hall for the strut.
The strut starts at 10 a.m. with registration from 8:30-9:30 a.m. at City Hall.  Plunge registration opens at noon and the plunge starts at 2:30 p.m. No wet suits are allowed and shoes are required for the plunge.

Each participant is required to raise a minimum $75 to participate in the Polar Plunge and $50 for the Polar Bear Strut. All participants will receive a commemorative shirt and free admission to the Post Party at Tan-Tar-A Resort.  Great prizes are available for participants who reach specific fundraising goals. These levels and additional information is available at www.somo.org/    lozplunge.

The plunge pre-registration deadline is Feb. 12. This deadline must be met to receive the requested shirt size on the day of the event. Day-of registrants will also receive shirts, however, they may not receive the requested size. The easiest and most efficient way to register and fundraise is online.

Go to www.somo.org/lozplunge, (www.somo.org/strut) sign up and e-mail your friends and families to support you. Paper registration forms are also available at these Web sites or at the Osage Beach City Hall. Mail or deliver pre-registration forms and the minimum contribution to Special Olympics Missouri, 1001 Diamond Ridge-Suite 800, Jefferson City, MO  65109.

Prizes will be awarded to Top Fundraisers. The individual Top Fundraiser will receive a three-day off-season houseboat vacation donated by Forever Resorts/Lake of the Ozarks State Parks Marina.  

The Top Fundraising School, Top Fundraising Team, Top Fundraising Law Enforcement Agency and Largest Group will be awarded for Plunge efforts.  Strut prize categories include: Top Male and Female Finishers, Top Finishers of each Division, Top Law Enforcement, Top Special Olympics athlete and Top Fundraiser. The participants with the most original costume will be presented with the “golden plunger award” in these four categories:  Team, Law Enforcement, Individual and School.

New this year – Be a Cool School. Schools can compete for our “Cool School” awards by getting a team together.  Details can be found at www.somo.org/lozplunge under the “Cool School” section.  

Prizes awarded based on total fundraising by Feb. 12 and include: pizza parties, a bus to take you to and from the plunge, and more. Contact Ashley at dawson@somo.org.

For more information about the Polar Plunge, please contact Susan Stegeman, Chief Development Officer, at 573-635-1660 or e-mail stegeman@somo.org.  For Strut information, please contact Diane Brimer at dbrimer@somo.org.

Contact the Lake Sun newsroom at newsroom@lakesunonline.com.