BRRRR! Southern Students and SRYA Athletes to Dip for Special Olympics
Brian Himes, a science teacher at Southern High School in Harwood, is helping over 100 teens and faculty members prepare for a cold, cold dip in the Chesapeake Bay on Feb. 1 for the Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics. This is the second year for Southern students and faculty to participate.
The water temperature for the dip is typically around 40°.
Himes, the faculty advisor for the Student Government Association (SGA) said that a student, Lindsey Bittinger, a senior, was the person that got the team organized. She’s not only the vice president of the SGA, but also a member of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) at the school.
Last week we wrote about South River High Schools Polar Bear Plunge team, which has raised over $25,000 so far.
Himes said that the goal was to get 40 kids. If each raised the minimum $50 donation, they’d raise $3,000 and be proud of that. They managed to get 50 teens and faculty members signed up.
“I thought that was a big success for the first year,” he said.
So this year, Himes said that the goal was to double the size of the team. They did that, and more with 110 students and faculty signed up to plunge. Here is their Plunge website team page.
The plunge date for Anne Arundel County Public Schools was moved from Jan. 25, the Frigid Friday student plunge, to Feb. 1 due to the high school exam schedule. The adult plunge date is set for Jan. 26.
The Polar Bear Plunge is sponsored by Maryland State Police as a fundraiser for Special Olympics. This is the 17th year for people to sign up and spend a minimum of $50 to take a quick dip in the Chesapeake Bay. Four years ago, they added the separate day for students to plunge to try to keep crowds to a manageable size. They called it Frigid Friday.
According to the Cool Schools page, Southern has raised $7,502, beating their goal of raising $5,500.
Another local group that is plunging is the team from South River Youth Athletics. They have 41 plungers and will plunge on Jan. 26 at either 1 p.m. or 3 p.m. The SRYA plunge team has to decide on the time based on the sports games that are played on Saturdays.
SRYA President Mike Sweeney said that they hope to raise $3,000. They currently have about $2,700. Check out their team page here.
This is Sweeney’s third year plunging. He said the first year they had maybe 15 plungers.
“It is nice to see the number grown every year,” he said.