BALTIMORE, Md. - For the first time in its 18 year history the Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge has been cancelled due to weather.
Citing twenty-five mile per hour wind gusts, three-foot waves and freezing temperatures, organizers called off the Special Olympics fundraiser scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at Sandy Point State Park.
According to a release, organizers made the decision after they determined there was no safe way to facilitate 7,000 people plunging into the frigid waters of the Chesapeake Bay.
Additionally the threat of snow and worsening conditions throughout the day prompted the decision.
The Polar Bear Plunge draws thousands of people from across the state to jump into the chilly waters of the Chesapeake Bay to benefit Special Olympics Maryland.
Jim Schmutz, President and CEO of Special Olympics Maryland said, "Over the past 17 years, the Plunge has raised more than $20 million for Special Olympics Maryland, which has helped further our mission of transforming the lives of children and adults with intellectual disabilities."
Despite the cancellation, the event is on track to raise about $1.8 million which is short of our goal of its $2.5 million goal. Plungers with pledges can turn their money into Special Olympics Maryland via a state police barracks or the Special Olympics Maryland office.
Organizers are working to determine an alternative date in the near future for a plunge only event.