IPS fundraise for Special Olympics through the Manhattan Polar Plunge


Photo by Hailey Eilert

Senior Max Landsdowne belly flops into the ice-cold water during the polar plunge event on Feb. 23. Many MHS students participated in the plunge this year, the event raised money and awareness for the special olympics.

Kris Long, Staff Writer

Students from IPS have been taking the plunge on a frigid February morning since 2011 and this tradition was continued last Saturday. Nine seniors from IPS and one freshman were among the 25 on the Slippery When Wet team that completed the challenge this year.

Students from IPS are not the only people participating. Slippery When Wet consists of volunteers, Special Olympics coaches, athletes and parents. The Polar Plunge is one of the many fundraising activities done to support Special Olympics.

It takes a special person to be willing to throw themselves into a pool of cold water in freezing weather to support a cause. Many students did it because previous students they knew had participated. Most, however, participated purely to be charitable. All of the people who participated in this event will not receive any of the proceeds.

“…it looked like a fun event to do for a good cause so I figured might as well.” senior Max Lansdowne said. “It seemed like it would be a cool thing to do and I’m glad I decided to,”

“I think it’s a good thing to do plus you raise money in the process,” senior Anna Huey said.

Despite the goodwill of all the participants, few did not regret their decision directly before and after the plunge. It was in the high 30s fahrenheit on Saturday morning with a cold rain not making the situation any better. Still, compared to last year the weather was warm. Previously the wind chill kept the temperature in the single digits.

“My toes are regretting [that] decision,” said senior Jill Broxterman after the event.

According to Slippery When Wet team captain Jamie Schnee they raised $5,348 this year with fewer team members than usual; 25 this year instead of their usual 35-40. All team members had to raise $75 to participate in the event, however, many team members raised more than this amount. Senior Cami Wells and Lansdowne both raised $175 individually. All of the money raised goes to the Special Olympics and 40 percent goes to the local Manhattan chapter.

The Special Olympics gives opportunity to athletes with mental disabilities who otherwise might not have the chance to compete. The money donated goes toward transporting athletes to events, hotels and the like. According to Schnee it cost $23,000 to fund Special Olympics in 2018.

“I think the Special Olympics is a really cool thing,” Lansdowne said. “I know a lot of people that have a lot of fun with it and it gives everyone the opportunity to participate in sports.”