The Sweetheart Polar Plunge benefiting Special Olympics Montana makes its annual return to Helena Saturday.

The plunge is in its 18th year, inviting teams and individuals to raise money and jump into the frigid February waters of Spring Meadow Lake.

“It’s definitely one of our biggest fundraisers in the area and a great way to expose people to Special Olympics Montana,” said Mandy Patriarche with SOMT.

The organization has a $30,000 goal and had raised more than $21,000 by Thursday. Donations come in a mix of corporate sponsored teams, individuals and teams of friends. Online entry continues through Friday and plungers can also come the day of the event, Patriarche said. The base cost is $125 to plunge, and higher donations are welcome.

Awards will go to the best dressed team and the plunger and team that raises the most pledges. 

New this year, plungers can check in early Friday afternoon from 4-6:30 p.m. at Robert Allen Nissan. Day-of check in is from 10:30 a.m. to noon, and the plunge is taking place at noon.

More information is available at

Reporter Tom Kuglin can be reached at 447-4076 @IR_TomKuglin