Multi-Part Web-Based Video Series Promoting the MSP Polar Bear Plunge for Special Olympics Maryland Reaches Exciting Conclusion on January 21

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Special Olympics Maryland created and launched a multi-part web-based video series in order to promote the Maryland STate Police Polar Bear Plunge on January 24, 2009. The humorous series titled "The Polar-Normal Investigations", follows investigator Rick McCool's adventures as he tracks down the missing Tahiti Tom. All the clues eventually lead McCool to a revelation of polar proportions, with a lot of laughs along the way. THe final episode launches Wed. January 21 on plungemd.com.

Now more than ever, we need to re-define ourselves and do something that will set us apart from the pack. We think that this series - as silly as it is - does that while still keeping at its core the message that all of this craziness is about one thing: the athletes of Special Olympics Maryland.

What is it about jumping into the Chesapeake Bay in January that creates such a fever in so many people? Viewers are invited to log on to http://www.plungemd.com and find out as series stars Detective Rick McCool and his super-savvy assistant Cathy take on a case of "polar-normal" activity in this 8-part web-based series created to generate excitement for the upcoming MSP Polar Bear Plunge. Launched in December, the final episode with the "big reveal" will be released Wed., January 21.

Dubbed "The Polar-Normal Investigations", the series is part Mickey Spillane, part X-Files, part Mission Impossible, part Blades of Glory and totally silly. Starring local actors Frank A. Lama, Bridget Palm, Michael Dunlop and Special Olympics Maryland's own Jimmy Myrick, Jr., this series finds investigator McCool and his team uncovering "polar-normal" activity around Maryland while in pursuit of the missing Tahiti Tom, owner of Tom's Hot Tub Emporium.

New episodes have been dropping every Wednesday since December, and viewers were invited to follow along as McCool, Cathy and uber-polar techie Jimmy Myrick uncover clues that help them keep on Tahiti Tom's ice cold trail. While McCool does lose his cool more than once in his search for the hot tub king, the case ultimately leads to a revelation of polar proportions for the ice-phobic investigator.

Presented by Aerotek and Produced by Take One Digital Media Works in Annapolis, the series is intended to generate both laughs and excitement for the 13th Annual Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge set for Saturday, January 24 at Sandy Point State Park.

"We are incredibly fortunate to have had such amazing support for this fundraiser over the past 12 years, but we owe it to the event's loyal participants and spectators to keep things fresh and fun," said Tom Schniedwind, Exec. VP of Sports Marketing for Special Olympics Maryland. "Now more than ever, we need to re-define ourselves and do something that will set us apart from the pack. We think that this series - as silly as it is - does that while still keeping at its core the message that all of this craziness is about one thing: the athletes of Special Olympics Maryland."

Even with the humorous presentation of the message in these webisodes, it does seem that the annual event has become something of a rite of passage or a winter-time tradition for thousands of people around the region. Last year the event set another new record, attracting 10,000 participants and raising over $3 million for Special Olympics Maryland. And registration for the January 24, 2009 event -- dubbed Plungapalooza 09 featuring the MSP Polar Bear Plunge XIII -- is in fact a whopping 40% ahead of this same time year, despite a sagging economy.

New episodes of The Polar-Normal Investigations can be viewed on the official Plunge website (http://www.plungemd.com), or on the event's Facebook site (Friend "Plunge Maryland"). For more information about the Plunge, visit the website or call 410-789-6677.

SOMD is a year-round sports organization dedicated to providing quality sports training and competition opportunities to Maryland's children and adults with intellectual disabilities and/or closely related development disabilities. SOMD currently serves 10,000 athletes statewide, and offers 28 sports, all at no cost to the athletes or their families. For more information about SOMD visit http://www.somd.org or call 410-789-6677 x117.

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