News / Events

My Polar Plunge - Wisconsin

Dylan Metcalf- Event Coordinator                                                Need to Lead - Wisconsin

From left to right: Dylan Metcalf (Franklin, MA), Brianna Baeten (De Pere, WI), Taylor Iwaszko (Shoreview, MN), Morgan Schill (Dubuque, IA)

From left to right: Dylan Metcalf (Franklin, MA), Brianna Baeten (De Pere, WI), Taylor Iwaszko (Shoreview, MN), Morgan Schill (Dubuque, IA)

The thermometer read -2 and the snow was falling down in big flakes.

The first group to jump in was the Madison Police Department . Six burly men, all in uniform, and one shorter girl walk up to the stage and prepared to jump.  I focused a little bit more and noticed the girl in between these two men was a special needs athlete. The courage she had to be one of the first jumpers and to even do the Polar Plunge at all resonated with me. She became someone I could look up to; a role model. Watching the police officers jump in with their hands intertwined with hers and then helping her out of the frigid water and into the hot tub was nothing short of incredible. The men made a difference in her life and her face showed it. She was gleaming; a smile from ear to ear lit up her face.

This plunger exemplified my reason for doing the event. The Polar Plunge was a small feat compared to what those with special needs, not just the athletes, deal with every day. If I can do anything to alleviate the struggle that they have to face, I feel it’s my duty to do that. I participated in the Polar Plunge to give those with special needs one less problem to worry about. I also left with a lesson that I will carry with me for a lifetime. This young Special Olympics Athlete with all of her obstacles and challenges that she must face everyday still proved that everyone can make a difference. No excuses!

The Polar Plunge has always been, and always will be one of my favorite events. Nearly $2,000 was raised by our Need to Lead team alone and a total of over $270,000 was raised for the Special Olympics of Wisconsin at this event. It was surreal to see the total donations increase before my eyes each day when I checked the website. Thank you to all my donors for all their help and to Need to Lead especially for supporting my initiative. I’m looking forward to 2015.