Polar plunges support Special Olympics


Jackie Keranen, Staff Writer

On Jan. 24, many people gathered together at Leith Lake in Brighton, ready to take a cold, icy polar plunge.

The reason they were taking the plunge was to raise money for the Special Olympics Incorporation. This non-profit organization gives adults and kids with special needs an opportunity to participate in year round sports training and athletic competitions in a variety of different olympic sports.

Each jumper sets a goal for how much money they want to raise and they encourage family and friends to donate to them.

Danny Heinonen, a graduate from the class of 2014, has been a polar plunge jumper for three years now. He was born with down syndrome and this year alone raised $1,220. The freezing cold water hasn’t stopped him from jumping each year.

“I’m a fighter, I’m going to fight the water,” Heinonen says.

Each group of the plungers has a captain. They form a team of family and friends. Jean Heinonen, Danny’s sister, took the plunge this year.

“It was really cold, but fun to be a part of,” sophomore Jean Heinonen says, “It makes me happy that this plunge is a way to raise money for the sports Danny plays.”

The Special Olympics offers many different kinds of sports and activities, such as basketball, figure skating, skiing, and many other activities.

Check out the Special Olympics Facebook page to see how many kids and adults this organization brings together to raise awareness.