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Dippers will take the plunge for Special Olympics

ST. AGATHA, Maine — The waters of northern Maine are notorious for being chilly even at the height of summer, but some brave volunteers will plunge into an icy cold Long Lake on May 1 in support of Aroostook Special Olympics. 

The 2022 Polar Dip for Aroostook Special Olympics is the first inception of the fundraiser since COVID-19 caused it to be canceled over the past few years. Dippers who join the event seek sponsor donations from individuals or businesses ahead of the dip. All funds raised are donated to Aroostook Special Olympics which supports County exceptional athletes.

As in pre-pandemic years, the Polar Dip will be held on the beach of the Long Lake Sporting Club in St. Agatha. The dipper who raises the most money for Aroostook Special Olympics will receive a $100 gift certificate to the County restaurant of their choosing. 

Event organizer Duane Belanger said raising funds for Special Olympics through the Polar Dip has a valuable and positive impact on the lives of exceptional athletes. 

“Special Olympics is their opportunity to compete and affirm what we all take for granted, that each and everyone needs to feel a sense of belonging and that they can overcome obstacles in life,” Belanger said. “Unfortunately, our Special Olympians are subject to unfair treatment at times and this is how those of us who support Special Olympics take pride in leveling the playing field for them.” 

Belanger said he does not yet know how many people will participate in the event, but is aware of teams coming from as far as Wells. 

Raising money is not required to participate in the Polar Dip. 

“People can show their support by showing up to encourage everyone brave enough to run in the freezing cold lake in support of this wonderful cause,” Belanger said. 

Participation packets are available at www.fourthdegree.me

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