I walked into a classroom on Thursday to see a student. His teacher, Mrs T. asked me, "Are you a sissy pants?"
My response was, "I don't think so...."
She elaborated. She was organizing a team to take the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics.
Mrs. T as I mentioned above is a teacher I work with. Any of you familiar with my job will know that that means she is a special education teacher. She is an exceptional advocate and teacher for some of the more significantly challenged students I service. She is also on the board of Special Olympics Illinois and happens to be the parent of an athlete. The Special Olympics provides year round sports training and competition for children and adults with disabilities. According to the Special Olympics mission statement, it allows athletes "opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families and other Special Olympics athletes and the community." I have many students who participate in this wonderful organization and the fulfillment it brings to their lives is remarkable. The opportunities it affords them to socialize, succeed and discover the benefits of dedication and hard work are truly amazing.
The Polar Plunge is an event that raises funds for the Special Olympics Illinois. There are 17 locations statewide at which individuals and teams take the icy plunge into a lake in exchange for donations they raise to support the Special Olympics. In 10 years, this event has raised more than 2.5 million dollars to benefit the athletes of Special Olympics.
I told Mrs. T I would think about joining her team, the Power Plungers and at the very least, would donate and certainly turn out on March 8th to cheer and support them.
Today, I decided to take the plunge alongside them. I am NOT a sissy pants and will be braving the cold waters of Loon Lake at Silver Springs State Park in Yorkville, IL. I am pleased to take the opportunity to raise awareness and funds for this wonderful organization. Please take time to reward my insanity (and also support the very courageous, hard working and dedicated special olympians) by supporting me with a donation. You can visit my fundraising page to make an online donation or you can contact me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I can get you details.
Thanks to those of you who have already shown your generosity to this cause and support for me! And don't worry, loyal blog readers, Swanny has promised to be on hand the day of the plunge, camera ready....you'll get to see me with icicles hanging from my ears I'm sure!!