By: Hunter Wain
The seventeenth annual Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Massachusetts was supposed to be held on Saturday, Feb. 28 at Nantasket Beach in Hull. One hundred percent of the money always goes to Special Olympics and 85 percent of the fundraising total goes to pay for the Attleboro School Day Games, being held at Attleboro High School on June 10, 2015.
“I think that while a good way to raise money for the Special Olympics, it also brings people together and you meet people from other schools,” said junior Nicole Savoie.
The Polar Plunge was postponed due to beach conditions but will be held on March 14. The Project Unite team, which includes Attleboro, North Attleboro and Bishop Feehan high schools, has decided that they will attend the Polar Plunge postponed date.
“I knew it would be cold but my body pretty much went numb,” said AHS senior Meredith Alfred talking about last year’s Polar Plunge.
“What I have learned is that there are a lot of people who don’t care to what extremes they have to go to raise money; they’ll run through ice and a snow covered ocean to help,” said AHS Senior Julia Paine, who will go for her fourth time this year.
Individuals fundraise and then go to the beach and plunge into the ocean, showing support for the Special Olympics. Each participant must raise a minimum of $60 to participate in the plunge and the team goal is $16,000. With the Cool School challenge, students who raise a minimum of $100 automatically receive a T-shirt.
“I was most surprised about how cold it was after we got out of the water, and back in the tent I had no idea I would be changing in front of hundreds of people,” said AHS Senior Janessa Coburn.
There is a $10 bus fee due at the time of registration. Plungers from the triumvirate will meet in the North Attleboro High School cafeteria to check-in at 8 a.m., hand in their fundraising money and to have breakfast.
“I was surprised about how many people we got to do the plunge; there were three busses full of Feehan, Attleboro, and North kids,” said AHS junior Olivia Kass.
“It’s a bonding experience for all the Project Unite volunteers and coordinators and it’s also a unique way to fundraise money for Special Olympics and for the Attleboro School Day Games,” Coburn said.
“Originally we were going to have our largest Polar Plunge group to date, but with the move to a new date, many of our plungers can’t do it; that’s unfortunate,” said Project Unite adviser Ms. Rebecca Richard.
Each plunger must have a Plunger Survival Kit with them in order to participate in the event. The kit should include: a plunger identification bracelet (which is given to plungers on the day of the event), a towel, bathrobe, water shoes or sneakers to wear in the water, team costume, swim cap, a sweatshirt, sweatpants or wind pants, a garbage bag to put wet clothes in, and a complete change of clothing.
Last year Project Unite raised $15,200 for Special Olympics and the AHS school day games.