I always ask myself the question: When was the last time you did something for the first time? On Friday, March 6, 2020, I did something for the first time. I participated in the Polar Plunge for the Indiana Special Olympics. Not only did I represent Central Indiana Educational Service Center (CIESC) as a volunteer to help with the registration process but I also took the Plunge at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis along with over 500 high school students from around the state. CIESC member schools included:
- Indian Creek High School
- Indian Creek Middle School
- Beech Grove High School
- Perry Meridian High School
- Carmel High School
- Whiteland High School
- Plainfield Community School Corporation
- Speedway High School
- Westfield High School
The temperature was in the mid-thirties and the wind was a steady 20mph, making it a true polar plunge. Many of my friends and family thought I was crazy for doing it, but I would do it again in a heartbeat! The atmosphere and energy was great, and being around all the high school students made me feel young again!
CIESC Coop Purchasing vendors helped out the plungers and volunteers by donating food and water on the frigid day.
- US Foods donated 25 cases of water bottles
- Piazza Produce donated 276 apples and 450 bananas
- Rich Foods donated 600 breakfast bars
I was fortunate to team up with Gianni DalCorobbo, a Speedway High School student, to raise about $1200. A couple of CIESC member school food service directors also joined us as volunteers: Kurt Bodell of Martinsville Schools and Jan Swander of Zionsville Schools.
All funds raised by the events directly benefit more than 18,000 Special Olympics athletes throughout the state, giving them the means to train locally and compete at the state level in a number of Olympic-type sports.
I would highly recommend this event to anyone. I do know there are many people who would not even think about getting into the water so there is a way to be involved yet not plunge – be a Virtual Plunger. Virtual Plungers get the thrill without the chill and take the Plunge for our athletes without getting wet.
Whether you want to attend a Polar Plunge event or stay home where it’s warm, you can create an online fundraising page, earn fundraising prizes and awards, and make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities. Check out their website at polarplungeIN.org for more information.
Stay tuned for the 2021 Polar Plunge! Hopefully, next year will be warmer!