I'm Just Sayin'
Random Thoughts from a Random Guy

Go Jump in a Lake

 

As Harry Potter at the 2008 Plunge

 

How many times have you been told to go jump in a lake?  I’ve heard expression, and I’ve taken it literally.  And in the cold too. But it’s all for a good cause.

After a two-year hiatus, I am once again doing the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics of Southern Illinois.  The event is coming up March 5th and is a MAJOR fundraiser for the southern district of Special Olympics.

The group supports more than 500 athletes in about a half-dozen different sporting events each year.  Of course they do the big spring games event, which I also have the honor of emceeing each year.  There are also bowling, bocce tournaments, and other fun activities.

 

"Udderly Ridiculous" My First Plunge in 2006

 

My first plunge was in 2006.  Here in southern Illinois, we dress up each year.  That first event it was just me and another coworker Samantha.  She was a farm girl, so I was a cow.  It was udderly ridiculous.  Get it?  Ha ha.  We had a blast running through the cold waters of Rend Lake.  I think the water temperature is about 38 degrees.  Air temp is usually slightly warmer, but not by much.

I believe in 2007 they had to chip ice off the lake before we got in.  That was a cold one.  But it’s a quick dip in the lake, run back to shore, grab a towel, and hit the hot showers.  Hundreds of people do it and raise thousands of dollars for these athletes.

 

 

My Aunt Donna as a child

 

I have a very personal reason for doing the Polar Plunge and supporting the Special Olympics.  My aunt Donna (my mom’s little sister) is mentally retarded.  Growing up, we would go and watch her compete in the Special Olympics.  She excelled at the softball throw, the 50 yard dash, and bowling.  She’s now in her late 50’s and has more trouble getting around, but she still proudly shows off all the medals and ribbons she won as a young woman.  It gave her an outlet to compete and was something she really enjoyed.

So when I hit those chilly waters every year, I think of Aunt Donna.  I’m also reminded of the smiling faces of the men and women who I’ve seen at the games here locally over the last 5 years.

Really these folks are no different from you and I.  They may be a little slower than us.  They may talk “funny”, or have trouble getting around, but they still relish the thrill of victory and sulk in the agony of defeat, just like us.

Admittedly, I wrote this more than to inform you of the Special Olympics.  This is a fundraiser for the group, and I would appreciate your support as I take the plunge again in March. If you want to help, please mail a check, payable to Special Olympics, to me at the TV station.

Kevin Hunsperger
1416 Country Aire Dr.
Carterville, IL 62918

Thanks!

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