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18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge Goes Virtual!

Due to rising COVID-19 cases and Greenbrier Park’s new restrictions on events, the Humane Society of Washington County’s 18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge will now be 100% virtual. Participants will now plunge separately – but united – for animals in need!

For the Virtual Polar Bear Plunge, HSWC is asking plungers to display their bravery by taking the plunge in a fun, new way on January 9. How deep of a plunge is up to each participant. A pool, a creek, a bathtub, or even a bucket are all fair game during this unusual year. Registered plungers are encouraged to then post a photo or video of themselves taking the plunge, tag HSWC, and use the hashtag #PlungingforPaws by 3:00 PM on January 9th to show their support and to qualify for prizes.

“We are grateful to all of our supporters who make our Polar Bear Plunge event such a success every year, and thank them for their continued support during our first ever Virtual Polar Bear Plunge. Although we can’t plunge together in person this year, the animals in our care here at HSWC need your help now more than ever,” said Anna Somers, Events and Corporate Partnership Manager. “Polar Bear Plunge is our largest fundraiser of the year, so we hope that by welcoming even more plungers through our virtual event, we’ll be able to raise the critical funds needed to help the animals at HSWC.”

Interested participants can register online at and create their own personal fundraising page. The registration fee is $25, and all participants who register by January 9th will receive a custom Polar Bear Plunge long-sleeved shirt. Additional incentives will be awarded to plungers reaching various levels of fundraising tiers or recruiting other plungers to participate.

Despite the change to a virtual event, awards will still be given for the Most Money Raised by an Individual, Most Money Raised by a Team, Best Individual Costume, Best Team Costume, and Largest Team of Participants. Additionally, there will be a special new award given for Most Creative Virtual Plunge.

“If you want to be involved but hate the idea of getting soaked in winter, we get it! Your virtual plunge can be as simple as dipping your toe in a baby pool or popping a water balloon over your head. You could even register, get an official t-shirt, and stay snuggled on your couch that day,” said Somers. “What matters is that you’re helping animals in need by supporting the Polar Bear Plunge.”

HSWC thanks top sponsors 101.5 Bob Rocks, 104.7 WAYZ, 92.1 The GOAT, 100.9 The Line, and AFLAC – Fran Shaffer for their generous support of this event. A complete, up-to-date list of sponsors is available on the Polar Bear Plunge registration site. If your business would like to be a part of this fun event, opportunities are still available. Please reach out to Anna Somers at 301-733-2060 ext. 242 or

Anyone who would like to sponsor a participant can go to to search for their favorite “polar bear” and make a donation on their personal fundraising page. All proceeds benefit the Humane Society of Washington County.

Last year’s Polar Bear Plunge grossed over $29,000 for HSWC.

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