“It was so hot outside, but the water was around 35 degrees,” Emily continued to explain. “Before the plunge, everyone lines up in their groups and parades around to show off their costumes. The group in front of Kate and I was also dressed in St. Patrick's Day attire. There was this older guy in spanx and a glitter top hat. We didn't have Shamrock necklaces, so he gave us his. That's a gift I will never forget!”
“I went to show my love of the Special Olympics of Missouri,” Kate explained. “They make an impact on so many lives.”
“Our team was the ‘Shivering Shamrocks,’ and we brought over $200 in donations from the dodgeball tournament,” Kate continued. “I could never feel any more proud in my life. The whole atmosphere of the celebration was amazing! There were so many new people that I would love to meet again.”
Emily Lewis added, “My favorite part was when we got to meet the SOMO (Special Olympics of Missouri) athletes. We even got our pictures taken with them!”
The Special Olympics helps change the lives of so many people, not just locally, but globally, through the joy of sports. According to somo.org, “Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization, with nearly 4 million athletes in over 170 countries. Nearly 16,500 of those athletes are here in Missouri. All proceeds raised at the Polar Plunge events benefit Special Olympics Missouri’s year-round program of sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.”
The SOMO organization holds 14 official Polar Plunge events a year, which are monitored constantly with all precautionary measures to ensure the safety and well-being of the participants. The next Polar Plunge fundraiser was held on Saturday, March 14th.
-by Karissa Durbin