(LANSING, Mich.) – Michigan Legislators, along with Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, will plunge into an icy pool in front of the Capitol steps on Thursday, March 5 at 3:00 p.m. as part of the fourth annual Legislative Polar Plunge. High definition video and high resolution photos will be available for download following the event. See details below.

This one of a kind event at the Capitol provides plenty of funny moments and great photo and video opportunities for spectators and plungers alike, while helping raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics Michigan (SOMI) athletes in the process. The Legislative Polar Plunge has raised more than $80,000 for SOMI athletes over the last three years.

2015 Legislative Polar Plunge participants include:

  • Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley
  • Senator Jim Ananich (27th District – Flint)
  • Representative Tom Barrett (71st District – Potterville)
  • Representative Jon Bumstead (100th District – Newaygo)
  • Representative Mike Callton (87th District – Nashville)
  • Representative Tom Cochran (67th District – Mason)
  • Representative Triston Cole (105th District – Mancelona)
  • Representative Kevin Cotter (99th District – Mt. Pleasant)
  • Representative Ken Goike (33rd District – Ray Township)
  • Senator Curtis Hertel (23rd District – East Lansing)
  • Representative Thomas Hooker (77th District – Byron Center)
  • Representative Ken Horn (32nd District – Frankenmuth)
  • Representative Brandt Iden (61st District – Oshtemo Township)
  • Senator Rick Jones (24th District – Grand Ledge)
  • Representative Klint Kesto (39th District – Commerce Township)
  • Senator Mike Kowall (15th District – White Lake)
  • Representative Andrea LaFontaine (32nd District – Columbus)
  • Representative Frank Liberati (13th District – Allen Park)
  • Representative Peter Lucido (36th District – Shelby Township)
  • Representative Kristy Pagan (21st District – Canton Township)
  • Representative Al Pscholka (79th District – Stevensville)
  • Representative Jason Sheppard (56th District – Temperence)
  • Representative Jim Tedder (43rd District – Clarkston)
  • Representative Henry Yanez (25th District – Sterling Heights)
  • Representative Ken Yonker (72nd District – Gaines Township)
  • Representative Adam Zemke (55th District – Ann Arbor)

The Legislative Polar Plunge is one of 29 Polar Plunges taking place across Michigan in 2015. The Polar Plunge series is known for its zany costumes and courageous participants. After raising funds, these participants dress up in costume and prepare to plunge, ready to jump in and freeze their fur for a good cause. Funds can be raised by collecting pledges from friends, family, co-workers and neighbors. For more info, and to register for the remaining plunges, visit PlungeMI.com.

Proceeds from these plunges help support year-round sports training and athletic competition for nearly 21,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities in Michigan.

This Wednesday, March 4, is “Spread the Word to End the Word Day” – a worldwide day of awareness aimed at eliminating the use of the word “retard(ed)” from everyday speech.

In March of 2014, the Michigan House and Senate unanimously voted to remove the “R-Word” from state laws. On March 28, 2014, Lt. Governor Brian Calley signed the “R-Word” package of bills, officially removing the term “retard(ed)” from state laws and replacing it with the term “developmental disability.” There are only a handful of states left that have yet to take similar measures. The terms “mental retardation” and “mentally retarded” were removed from federal health education and labor policy in 2010.

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