By Avani Papadopoulos
If you’re looking to do something a little fun, crazy, and helpful to others, then maybe you should consider trying the Polar Plunge! The Polar Plunge is a fundraiser held by Special Olympics, a non-profit organization that supports athletes with mental and physical disabilities.
The plunge will be held on Friday, March 6th at Eagle Creek Park from 8-11 a.m. Activities that are done there include running in cold water, a chicken wing or donut eating contest, a costume contest, and a cheer contest.
Olivia Morrison, now in charge of the plunge, has already done it five times, and this will be her sixth year. She says 67 people joined last year and that was the most they’ve ever had. They also raised $15,000 last year, and have won four consecutive years for the ‘most money raised.’
Olivia says that being the leader now, she mostly helps with funding and getting the team together. She hypes people up and gets them to join by talking about their accomplishments in recent years. She says that although it’s a little crazy to run through the cold water, it’s still fun, and going towards a good cause. There’s also free food and you get to miss the morning part of school, so students can look forward to that if they choose to go.
Olivia first started getting involved years ago, becoming assistant-coach to her dad, Chris Morrison (a math teacher at University), who helps coach Special Olympics basketball. She says, “At first I sort of was just sitting there doing my homework, and then I started getting involved and interacting with the players and helping be assistant-coach, so that’s how I got involved and that’s why Special Olympics is important to me.”
And if you’re having second thoughts about plunging, being that it’s so cold, Olivia admits, “Before the plunge, at first, you sort of regret it, but then you’re like ‘I’m going to do this, it’s going to be fine,’ and the water is cold, though surprisingly it has been colder in past years, so hopefully this year it’s not as cold. And I mean, after the plunge, your immediate thought is that you’re cold, but after that you think about what you did, and being cold is just a reminder that you did something great. And you realize how not bad it was, you lived, you survived.”
Image courtesy of University High School of Indiana