While experts have hinted at the possibility the Chesapeake Bay could freeze over this winter, hundreds of students and thousands of other die-hards are preparing to plunge into its icy waters at the 15th Annual Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge planned for January 28-29.
Teams from Calvert Hall, Mount St. Joseph and Maryvale as well as more than 60 other elementary, middle and high schools from across the state have registered to participate in the Frigid Friday Cool Schools Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Maryland. Now in its second year, the Cool Schools Plunge is a way for students to earn service learning credits and schools to show their spirit.
Calvert Hall was a cool school before plunging was cool
Plunging for their third year, Calvert Hall’s team, The Red Cs, have more than tripled the number of participants with 40 students. Why take the Frigid Friday plunge?
Ben Weise, a Calvert Hall Cool Schools co-captain, explains that some students just do it for the fun. “The Polar Bear Plunge is a great way for students to get involved in a good cause and have a ton of fun. It raises awareness and gives students an opportunity to immerse themselves in something beyond our school.”
For team co-captain Devin Seidel, a senior, his motivation is more personal. His brother is a Special Olympics athlete and this is a way to support the program. Each Calvert Hall participant hopes to raise $100 in sponsorships in addition to spare change being collected in the school’s dining hall.
Maryvale motivated to meet goal thanks to commitment of Principal to Plunge
In their rookie year as Cool School plungers, the girls at Maryvale Preparatory School have set a fundraising goal of $2,500. Girls are motivated to reach that goal thanks to a challenge from Principal Donna Bridickas and Christian Service Coordinator Mike Vogrin to plunge along with the students if they reach their goal.
“This challenge has motivated the students,” said junior Brandy Gotti who is coordinating Maryvale’s effort. Gotti and her Polar Bear Plunge committee have been working hard for months to raise awareness and support for this event.
“In addition to making posters and spreading the word on Facebook, we have been sharing details about the plunge each week during our school’s Community Homeroom,” said Gotti. “We also sold cookie jars at Maryvale’s annual Christmas Bazaar. The money collected will go toward our $2,500 goal.”
Mount Saint Joseph Rugby team proves how tough they are
You have to be tough to play rugby and for a fourth year, the Mount Saint Joseph Rugby Team is proving just how tough they are, by plunging into the frigid waters at Sandy Point State Park. Like Maryvale, the team is using social media to raise awareness and funds. Their 2011 goal is to send 30 plungers and $5,000 to Friday’s Cool Schools dip.
Click here to support these schools or to make a donation to Special Olympics Maryland.
Have you participated in the Polar Bear Plunge? Tell us your experience in the comments section.