Posted by Kelsey Nichols
Students, faculty and community members will jump into the cold waters of Lake George to raise funds for the Special Olympics New York from 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday, Nov. 19, as part of Skidmore's first participation in the Polar Plunge.
The event is organized by the Special Olympics New York, which holds similar events across the country. All funds from the event will go toward this program, which provides year-round sports training and athletic competitions for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, fostering relationships with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and their communities.
Pat Wildes, a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Council and chairman of the Community Service subcommittee, said he is excited to be part of organizing the College's first Polar Plunge.
"I was inspired to bring the Polar Plunge to Skidmore's campus after hearing about it too late last fall and deciding that we should partake the following year," he said. "My role was to get our student athletes at Skidmore mobilized to take part in this event."
The Athletics department has hosted swim practice for members of the Special Olympics team every Tuesday in the Williamson Sports Center for the past few years and is involved in many different fundraising events and activities for the community.
"The swim practices are the only current Special Olympics-related connection I know of on campus, but part of our goal this year with our SAAC subcommittee is to expand upon that," Wildes said. "I think we really need to help out the local chapter of the organization."
One of the ways in which the department has been helping the organization is by fundraising for this event, which started on Nov. 14, and totaled $1,365 as of Nov. 17. Wildes said he hopes to reach $1,500 before Saturday's event.
On the day of the plunge, participants will take a bus paid for by the Athletics Department to Lake George. The team name for the College is "Skidmore Athletics," although not everyone participating has to be an athlete.
The event is free and open to the public, although participants are encouraged to donate to this event. General donations may also be made to the team's event page.