Sunday, March 7, 2010

Weekend Update Volume 10--Popsicle Edition

video

The 2010 Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Illinois took place today. I, along with 22 team mates, and many many others to an icy dip into Loon Lake in Yorkville, Illinois.

And it was icy...did you see all the ice and snow on the lake in that video?? Here it is again, in case you missed it.
NOTE: See all of that ice out there?!?!
Here is what the lake looked like last year....



Yeah, it was a little bit colder this year.
According to the thermometer, the lake was a balmy 15 degrees.



I apologize that there are not yet any action shots of the team in mid-plunge, but I'm working on laying hands on some.
You'll have to do with some prep and lead up shots:

























There are many thoughts and emotions running through me at this moment..

Pride: in a team that undertook this "crazy" challenge with a goal set in their minds to raise as much money as we could in order to support the kids we love so much and the movement that has changed the lives of so many.

Amazement: in the generosity of my friends, family, co-workers and community members. We more than DOUBLED the amount of money that we raised last year. For those of you who didn't know, last year our team won the award for raising the most money in the state, which was about $20,000. This year our total is in the the approximate ball park of $52,000.00. (You read that right--amazing!!)

Humility: to be a part of such an unbelievable group of women who have done something so wonderful for people who teach us so much and deserve to have the experience of Special Olympics for their journey in life. Being a part of something like this reminds me that my own fears, anxieties, and excuses just get in the way. This type of event is so much bigger than just me, its importance is so far reaching, how can I not be a part of it?


By the way I call this picture above, the "Medal Sweep." Members of our team (from left to right) took the Gold Plunger, Bronze Plunger and Silver Plunger for being the top 3 individual money earners at our event. Our team captain is pictured on the right is holding the Golden Plunger our team won for raising the most money at the event.

Two of the reasons I've done this:






To me what the Special Olympics movement means was summed up best in a letter written by Timothy Shriver, son of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder of Special Olympics, upon her death in 2009 noting what her ambition with this endeavor entailed:

"her unconditional love for the athletes of Special Olympics that so fulfilled her life. As Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk and social activist reminded us: "the beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image, lest we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them." Her love for the athletes of Special Olympics was always just like that. She never hoped that people with intellectual disabilities should be somehow changed into something they were not. Rather, she fought throughout her life to ensure that they would be allowed to reach their full potential so that we might in turn be changed by them, forced to recognize our own false assumptions and their inherent gifts. 
"

Thank you to everyone out there who sponsored me or someone on my team. Your support of us means support to the Special Olympics Athletes and the movement that continues to reach and inspire thousands across our community, country and the world.



7 comments:

Ann said...

Wow - I have tears in my eyes after reading that. Thanks for all that you do - you & your team of plungers are amazing!

Ann Kodat

deb said...

You and your team are terrific. Enjoyed the video and the pics. Congratulations Jen! Deb

Anonymous said...

Jen~
Words so true...WE are the lucky ones to be touched by special Olympians and have the opportunity to give back to them what they give to us each day. It is truly a pleasure have been on the team with you! xo

皮膚 said...
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Rikki said...

THAT is amazing. You have done such a great job! I will continue to donate if you continue to plunge. Hats off to you and your team Jen. :D

mountainmomma said...

Awesome and amazing- I am totally kaveling over here! I am so proud to be related to you!!!

G. P. said...

Awesome job Plungers! I just got around to seeing this. How inspiring!!