By Nance Ebert, Contributing Writer
Southborough – On a cold and drizzly afternoon, 125 brave souls volunteered to plunge into the frigid waters of an outdoor pool at P. Brent Trottier Middle School Feb. 13 and raised over $13,500 for Special Olympics.
Students, parents, teachers, administrators, members of the Fire Department, Police Department, DPW and more all gathered together to cheer on those participating in the Polar Plunge. Once the plungers exited the water, they were quickly wrapped in a towel and went inside to change into dry clothing. There was hot chocolate, donuts and cookies to enjoy and help warm them up.
“This is such a wonderful community event,” said Pam Lunder, Project Unify co-advisor. “We are supporting Special Olympics, but also what it is to be a unified school and have everyone be involved. There might be kids that are collaborative, so a kid who cannot jump might be sponsored by someone else.”
Faculty member, head of the music department and emcee Jamie Clark relayed the safety rules and added much humor throughout the event.
“If you come out of the water and you don’t feel well, please let someone know. Also, if you don’t feel well, you can probably get out of Mr. Griffin’s math homework,” joked Clark.
So many people helped to make this event the success from the DPW, custodial staff, Southborough Fire and Police departments, teachers, parents, students, administrators and more.
“We also have to give a big ‘thank you’ to Mrs. Lunder for her hard work with this event. She hates the cold and jumping into this pool is the last thing she would ever want to do,” said Clark, chuckling.
“Special Olympics is located right out of Marlborough. We serve about 13,300 athletes across the state in Olympic-style sports and the Polar Plunge is one of the only after school events that we have,” explained Ellie Gamache of Special Olympics Massachusetts. “They are raising money to put on sports at no cost to our athletes which is amazing and we are very, very grateful.”
Several of the athletic teams signed up to jump together, including the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams.
“This year we had the most plungers sign up yet,” Lunder said. “In the three years that we have been running this event, we have raised close to $40,000 for Special Olympics. The best part was really having the camaraderie of the Trottier community and the parents – our goal is really to make it inclusive…This is a really nice event that highlights the entire community. It’s awesome.”