An overcast morning here in Winthrop, ME. For those not familiar with Maine, the town is north of Portland nearest to Augusta. At 8am I pulled into the American Legion, sitting silently across from the calm waters of Maranacook Lake. The parking lot was vacant, yet would soon be brimming with participants (affectionately known as “plungers”) waiting to jump into the near-freezing water.
This year marks the third annual Ice Out Polar Plunge, a fundraising event where individuals or small groups collect money in exchange for their descent into the chilly April water (post ice melt or “ice out”). This effort benefits Special Olympics Maine, an organization which provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities in the state of Maine.
The turnout this year was terrific, with 57 individuals participating in the plunge and raising close to $17,000 in just one day. As a Special Olympics Maine Board Member and avid supporter, I am beyond thrilled with the success of this event.
More than three years ago the Ice Out Plunge was just a new fundraising idea, dreamed up by a few of my fellow Board Members. With great vision and dedication, the task force worked tirelessly to bring the event to fruition and now it is a tremendous success!
A majority of what makes this event a great success, is Maine’s Law Enforcement. The groups statewide (wardens, police force, etc.) are tightly connected with Special Olympics Maine and one of our greatest supporters – they raised $440,000+ last year alone for our organization.
A big thank you to the volunteers, event organizers, plungers, and all who donated!
To learn more about the event, please read the article by Keith Edwards for centralmaine.com: Ice-out plungers raise cold cash for Special Olympics in Winthrop.