Bozeman takes Polar Plunge to raise money for Montana Special Olympics

Posted at 3:37 PM, Feb 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-18 18:22:16-05

BOZEMAN – On Saturday, around 150 people jumped into the Bozeman Pond at the East Gallatin Recreation Area for the annual Bozeman Presidents Polar Plunge, hosted by local law enforcement.

Participants took the plunge to raise money for Special Olympics Montana athletes. The community rose around $55,000, of which 60% will stay in the Big Sky area.

“It takes your breath away completely,” said plunger Ali Reisig. “But it was definitely worth it.”

Reisig couldn’t sleep Friday night, knowing the next morning she would be jumping into the Bozeman Pond in the middle of winter. She almost decided not to show up at the event, but knowing it was for a good cause made her change her mind. As she walked near the cut-out of ice on the pond, she put on a brave face and slipped on a shark hat and took the plunge.

“I have a niece who likes the baby shark song,” said Reisig. “I play it at work all the time so I figured I would get the Auntie Shark. Now it has got its money worth. I have been using it. People really like the shark stuff this year.”

Shark, penguin, Batman, and Jedi costumes were all seen at the 2019 Polar Plunge. Officer Anthony Hutchings has been involved with the event for more than a decade because he gets to help athletes who he believes are some of the best people in the world.

“They see through the badge or the uniform or whatever that might be, and they see us for the people that we are,” said Hutchings. “It is just cool to be around that and you know we appreciate it.”

Even though the water was freezing cold, it was easier for Reisig to take the jump while being surround by the community and her Gallatin Roller Derby teammates.

“I put a little thing on Facebook and you know, I thought I would get like maybe fifty bucks donations, but with our team combined we got over $1,200,” said Reisig. “It was just amazing where people in the community want to absorb that and get involved and it was just a really good feeling to want to support our local community.”

Reporting by Mederios Babb for MTN News