February 15, 2017

Polar Plunge, Donut Dash will benefit Special Olympics

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s College of Business American Marketing Association branch is co-sponsoring a Polar Plunge and Donut Dash on Feb. 25 to raise money for Special Olympics.

The Donut Dash, a unique 5K race that tests the prowess of participants in running and eating donuts, begins at 9:30 a.m. It takes place at the Student Recreation Center, 300 E. Grand Ave. in Carbondale. During the course of the race, there will be multiple “donut stops” and each time runners eat a doughnut, they receive a one-minute deduction on their race time. The race registration fee is $30 and the top three finishers in each age group will receive awards.

The Polar Plunge takes place at the center beginning at noon on Feb. 25. Each participant is asked to raise at least $100 in donations to have the opportunity to plunge into frigid water. All who take the plunge receive a hooded sweatshirt and admission to the Post Plunge Party. Those who collect higher levels of donations are eligible for other prizes. All donations go to Special Olympics.

SIU’s AMA is assisting with the marketing and sales components of the Polar Plunge and Donut Dash. Cassi Benson and Kimberly Potocki, both junior marketing majors at SIU, are co-chairing the Polar Plunge Marketing Committee. While they are promoting the event to the community at large, they are also striving to increase student participation in 2017.

They have created flyers and publicized the dual event heavily on campus and are reaching out to Greek groups and registered student organizations to get more students involved. Benson and Potocki note that the Polar Plunge and Donut Dash are great ways for students and community members to help others and they say preparing for it also gives the AMA members good, hands-on marketing experience.

Volunteers are also needed to assist with the events on Feb. 25. Students can earn community service hours through the Office of Student Engagement for helping.

Organizers have set a goal of raising $55,000 at the SIU Polar Plunge and Donut Dash. Additional information and online registration for both events can be found at www.plungeillinois.com. You can also pre-register from 6 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 24 in the Alumni Lounge at the Student Recreation Center. The deadline to sign up for the Polar Plunge and the Donut Dash online is 11:45 p.m. on Feb. 24. Donations will be accepted until April 24.

In addition to the SIU American Marketing Association chapter, sponsors include the Law Enforcement Torch Run, GEICO, SIU and its Recreational Sports and Services, Dunkin Donuts, WSIL TV3, River Radio, DaVinci’s Smart Drink, Insomnia Cookies, Primo’s Pizza, Williamson County Fire Rescue and the Southern Illinoisan.

For more information, visit https://www.soill.org/polar-plunge/