Freezin’ for a reason

Local Wheatland Special Olympian Eli Jaren was a participant in last year’s Jackalope Jump hosted as a fundraiser for the Platte County Special Olympians. Jaren made a daring dive wearing his Spiderman suit and seemed unaffected by the water… until he got out.

Annual Jackalope Jump this weekend

WHEATLAND – The annual freezing on the scene before the traditional celebrating of the green next week is once upon the hardy and the gawkers in Platte County.

It is the time of year when jumpers and dunkers and toe-tippers sport crazy costumes and when moms ask, “If Donny jumped in the freezing lake, would you do it too?”

People honestly think about the answer and reply, “Yes, yes I would.”

This year’s event will take place this coming Saturday in Wheatland with a location change and a registration time of 11 a.m. and a jump-time of noon.

“The Jackalope jump for Special Olympics is being moved to the Wheatland Fire Training Center this Saturday,” Kayla Robinett, Special Olympian coach said. “We still need jumpers and donations. Please reach out to myself, Cassidy Kirlin or William Kirlin if you want to be involved or have any questions. Remember anything helps and this all goes to such an amazing nonprofit organization that gives children and adults with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to compete in a multitude of sporting events throughout the year.”

The annual Jackalope Jump in Platte County raises funds each year for Special Olympics Wyoming.

According to Special Olympics Wyoming, “Special Olympics is founded on the belief that people with intellectual disabilities can, with proper instruction & encouragement, learn, enjoy & benefit from participation in individual & team sports, adapted as necessary to meet the needs of those with intellectual & physical limitations. Special Olympics believes that consistent training is indispensable to the development of an individual’s sports skills. In addition, competition among those of equal abilities is the most appropriate means of testing these skills, measuring progress, and providing incentives for personal growth.

“Some may know the legend of the Jackalope, but few have ever seen one! This horned jackrabbit has evaded many a hunter and continues to remain a mysterious creature roaming the plains of Wyoming.

Wyoming is the one and only location on the planet to hold an annual Jackalope Jump, also known as Polar Plunge events in other parts of the country.  

Jumpers create awareness and raise funds to support Special Olympics Wyoming by participating in a cold-water plunge fundraising event. Funding will go to help the kids get to competitions and much needed practice gear and T-Shirts.

This statewide event runs from February through March each year. Awards to recognize the best costume, largest group, and most funds raised are given out with a chance to earn some cool Special Olympics gear!

They call it freezin’ for a reason and the reason is a good one.

“Hats off to all who come out to participate in the jump or just come out and put some financial support into the hat and cheer on those brave souls who sacrifice body warmth for the kids of the county,” Special Olympian coach Kayla Robinett said.

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