|Freezin' For A Reason! |
Special Olympics Polar Plunge
Just when you think its time to pack away the swim gear and pull out the skis, its time for the annual Polar Plunge in Lake George and Plattsburgh benefiting the Special Olympics. I am not one to actually take the required dip, but hold vigorously to my role as spectator when it comes to braving any Adirondack water in November.
From the Finger Lakes to Lake Champlain and Lake George to Staten Island there are 14 Polar Plunge events scheduled with ones in Plattsburgh and Lake George on November 14. Lake George’s Polar Plunge will kick off from Shepard’s Park while the Plattsburgh participants will brave a chilly Lake Champlain from City Beach.
|Plattsburgh Polar Plunge raises funds for Special Olympics|
When I spoke with Special Olympics Development Specialist Erin McCartan in 2014 she reminded me that there are local, regional as well as traveling (away) events. These Special Olympians are never charged and there is no age restriction. There are some athletes that have been participating for the last 50 years.
“The Special Olympics is necessary because it helps to teach values and life lessons. Even though the athletes may be matriculated into schools, it’s those life lessons they carry with them,” says McCartan. “It is important to learn how to win, but it is just as important to learn how to lose.”
|Costumes are part of the fun event|
On such team is Lake George’s Lisa Jackowski and her team Max’sBuddies. Currently Jackowski’s team has raised $6,884 for Special Olympics. This is a topic that is close to Jackowski’s heart as her son Max is a Special Olympian. Lisa and I became acquaintances when I wrote a piece about her son and their Polar Plunge in 2013. Since that time she and her friends and family have tirelessly raised money for Special Olympics.
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“Max asks every year if it is time to take the Plunge,” Jackowski said in a previous interview. “The athletes look forward to participating in the games. Max has met friends and remembers them year after year. These athletes are serious about participating. The events are timed and they can move up to another level. A lot of the participants are in a group home setting. They are looking forward to the socialization and it boosts their self-esteem. I can’t wait to see their smiles.”
Anyone can take the Plunge and there is no minimum for fundraising. There is also the opportunity to join the Chicken Coop for $50 and sit in a heated tent with food and beverages and watch other people brave the chilly waters of Lake George and Lake Champlain.