Why I Plunge
Have you been plunging for years? Do it for a special reason? We want to hear your story! Submit the reason you plunge each year below for a chance to be featured on this page.
For the amazing athletes of Special Olympics of course! I am inspired every day by many athletes -many of them dear friends! They've taught me that an inspired heart is a warm heart and no match for the icy Chesapeake Bay!
I Plunge because I am a part of the best plunge team ever! Team FRIENDZ has raised tens of thousands of dollars for a great cause and it has been great plunging with them. I look forward to being a part of this great cause for many years to come.
One of the thing that we really like about the Plunge is that it instills a lot of team activity within the organization in both leading up to the event, during the event, and after the event. The Plunge brings our Aerotek teams together and our goal is to see how much fun our organization can have as a group in conjunction with Special Olympics Maryland on that day.
I started out with the first Chesapeake Bay Plunge when it first began as part of a group of friends from the Maryland State Police and the Maryland Department of Transportation Data Center. One of my co-workers MDOT son had participated in several Special Olympics programs. This was a way for us to show our support. When I took a job with the Social Security Administration in 1997, another co-worker has a son who was a Special Olympics participant.
have not missed a Chesapeake Bay Plunge since and have participated in all of the Deep Creek Dunks too. I have also done the St. Mary's Splash and the Shiver in River events in Southern Maryland.
I Plunge so these FANTASTIC athletes have the chance to safely compete locally, nationally, or even internationally at no cost to there families.
My Why is simple...My brother is strong and independent at 50 years old b/c of Special Olympics Maryland. Brian isn't very outgoing or talkative but when he competes it's a different game to him. It's all about times and what place he came in, even if it's last. I love to see the smile on his face when he gets to ski down the slopes and I get to ask him how he did. He always says "good'. Man of few words but skiing makes him so happy!
The smiles and enjoyment that I have witnessed as a helper and assistant for SOMD MoCo make every second I spend with them worth it. For a few hours you forget work, school, and all the stress that can make us crazy but for a few weekends each year, it all goes away. The Plunge is a special time every year, to wash away the stress and worry of the year before and boy do we need to put 2020 behind us and wash away all the germs!
When I was a rookie state trooper, I became friends with my first road patrol partner. I was in his wedding and was there when his first child was born. The doctors told my friend and his wife their child would be so intellectually disabled, they should consider institutionalizing him.
These new parents were having none of that. They were committed to loving and raising the child God had blessed them with. To them, that meant engaging him in every opportunity they could. Special Olympics MD was at the top of that list.
As a result of the incredible love and dedication these parents invested in their child, and with the help of Special Olympics MD and other outstanding programs, their son, Josh, has had an amazing and fulfilling life. Now in his late thirties, Josh has traveled around the world with Special Olympics and has a wall full of medals. He has hung out with professional athletes, including lots of Ravens, as well as musicians, politicians, and more famous people than I will ever meet. He has appeared on television and in media countless times promoting Special Olympics. He even has a job teaching police officers and others about how best to interact with people with intellectual disabilities.
Opportunities for engagement and fulfillment provided by Special Olympics MD have helped make Josh the outstanding young man he is today. His story is repeated thousands of times over in just our state alone because of Special Olympics.
The funds raised during the MSP Polar Bear Plunge and other activities throughout the year are used by Special Olympics Maryland to give children and adults with intellectual abilities the opportunity to feel what it is like to practice, compete, win and yes, lose, all through the power of sports. These and many other enrichment opportunities are provided to them free-of-charge, thanks to the ongoing support of thousands of Maryland law enforcement personnel, generous citizens and responsible corporate partners who understand the importance of this cause.
As a proud participant in the MD Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics since its inception in 1986, I have had the privilege of meeting many Special Olympics MD athletes. You only need to meet one. He or she will change your perspective. They will change your life. This is why I Plunge.
I plunge because I love Special Olympics Maryland and want to see as many athletes, present and future have the opportunity to shine!! And nothing raises more money than people seeing me freeze for that love!!!
This is a pretty easy question for me to answer. I Plunge for the athletes within Special Olympics to continue to have the opportunities to participate in an organization to grow in life through sports opportunities! Oh - and it's fun!
I have family that participate in Special Olympics every year and it makes me feel good to be able to do something to keep their happiness going.
It's fun and for a good cause. And the sweatshirt!
When I lost a dear sweet friend and one of the first Special Olympic Swimmers and athlete that I had the pleasure of coaching when he was just starting out, Jimmy Myrick Jr.. I do this for him, his wonderful family and for all of my other Prince George’s County Athletes that I have had the pleasure of being their volunteer swim coach and/or head coach during my time since about 1992.
5 years ago I joined the wonderful opportunity to plunge for a cause that I'm so passionate about. I do the plunge every year because I enjoy fundraising for a special cause and also enjoy doing it with the individuals I support as a direct support professional.
I've plunged each year for 17 years. However, I was a handler/super plunger for at least 10 of those years with my Uncle Darryl, who also was a Super Plunger. The overall number of times I've plunged has been about 245 but for 17 years. I enjoy doing the plunge because it's for a great cause. I work in the school system and they are huge supporters of the Special Olympics. I have great memories of doing the plunge. However, my experiences doing the Super Plunge and staying overnight with some of the athletes (Jimmy Myrick, Joe Wu, Josh, Desi, Ben) have been nothing short of life-changing. When I spent time with them and really got to know them, it really came from a special place in my heart. I got to see the inclusion firsthand and be inspired by them. It always left me with the best feeling. I also try to encourage others to do the plunge and/or support it by giving a donation. I've always looked forward to the plunge each year. It has truly changed my heart.
This was my first year doing the plunge. I've always wanted to do it, but I have asthma and have to be careful and it seems like every year around plunge time I get bronchitis so I have avoid a cold dip in the water. Instead, I've supported my friends who have taken the plunge by pledging their efforts. I was always a little jealous of them. It seemed like such a fun time for such a good cause. My late brother was mildly intellectually disabled and I saw first hand how our society wants to shut people like him away so they don't have to deal with them and deny them opportunities -- things like finding a job, living independently, shopping, riding public transportation and even finding love and having fun -- all of the things we take for granted.
Groups like the Special Olympics of Maryland provide so much more than a great event for those with intellectual disabilities. They provide opportunities for others to learn and grow, not only for the athletes, but also for the volunteers who work with them and for all of us who watch the athletes compete. These special athletes can teach us all about the true meaning of friendship, competition, dedication and sportsmanship. Covid changed the plunge this year, but it did not change the incredible spirit of the games. Thank you for this great opportunity.
To get more people to support Special Olympics and it is fun.
The Corporate Polar Bear Plunge was a great team-bonding experience and Merritt enjoyed supporting the athletes of Special Olympics Maryland.
I plunge to help to raise money for athletes across the state, like me, so they can continue to do sports they love!
Super Plunging has always been an opportunity to give back to Special Olympics Maryland and my fellow athletes. I love to get out into our community and tell the wonderful things our movement has done for people with intellectual disabilities through sport and as I freeze it reminds me that I am doing something that is making an impact for current and future athletes to be able to share their abilities all year long.
It started out as a 1 time deal with a group from work. For me it turned into an annual event with this being my 10th year. from that first plunge, I knew I was going to keep the team together, even if it meant me plunging alone....and I did that, 2 years ALONE. Teammates have come and gone, but I will keep doing this as long as I'm physically able. It's rewarding in so many ways, but to see the smiles on these athletes' faces is priceless. Also being able to do this with 10,000 other crazy people makes it FUN. I hope 1 day to be a super plunger...
I plunge because of the people who participated in Special Olympics and because of my Father and brother who passed away 2 years ago. The passion that they had for family and how they gave with humbleness and love, by participating in the Plunge is my gesture of what they instilled in me.
I plunge to support my fellow Special Olympics Maryland athletes. If we didn’t have any supporters then we wouldn’t have any of these amazing programs and opportunities for athletes. I love participating in sports like Volleyball, Basketball, Track and Field, and of course Equestrian. I love athlete leadership opportunities. I love the company of friends, coaches, volunteers, supporters, and my family being apart of what I love doing. Thank you all for supporting the plunge!
I plunge for all the athletes of Special Olympics! "Be brave in the attempt" is part of the Athlete Oath and if athletes can be brave in their attempts on the athletic fields and in life, then I know braving the icy Chesapeake is the least I can do to support them! The other reason I Plunge is because it is a public display of law enforcement's support for Special Olympics and it's athletes!
This year when our Knights of Columbus heard that due to the pandemic the locations for an actual plunge had collapsed. We wanted to make a difference and provide a plunge location in Southern Maryland for years to come. We did just that and collected just short of $1,000.00 for our 1st Plunge. More importantly, we added a new plunge location here in Southern Maryland.
I plunge so the 8,716 Special Olympics Maryland athletes across the state can PLAY. I plunge for Annu Singleton, Adam Hays, Elaina Camacho, Michael Heup, David Godoy, and all the other Special Olympics Maryland athletes. I have served on the Board of Special Olympics Maryland for 4 years and my family and I love participating in the summer games and volunteering during events. We love cheering athletes along as they compete and being a part of the celebration of their accomplishments. I plunge for acceptance, inclusion, belonging, perseverance, resilience, bravery, and a world where through sport, opportunity is not limited by disability. It is my honor to be a part of this amazing organization!
I Plunge because I know first hand the power of sports for any individual. Being an athlete all my life growing up I played every sport that was available to me. In High School, I took my greatest athletic challenge, participating in Unified Bocce. Which quite possibly might have been my worst sport (I just could not aim)... but that didn't matter because my partner was a BEAST! Rachel is a selective mute and starting out my first bocce season we only spoke through motions and limited sign. Fast forward to two years later and because of Unified sports Rachel and I developed a friendship beyond anything I could imagine. Leading to Rachel feeling comfortable enough to talk to me. Which was a good thing, because thanks to her amazing bocce skills she took us to the state championship and WE WON! It was one of the happiest days of my life, and right then and there I saw the power of sport. Creating friendships that would last me a lifetime. Everyone deserves a chance to show off their skills and be treated with equality. Special Olympics Maryland and their Unified Sports program changed my life and thanks to the Plunge thousands of individuals can experience this same thing that I did. This is Why I Plunge!
I plunge for the smiles that I see on my students and athletes that benefit from the programs provided by SOMD. As a teacher and coach in Baltimore City, I see where the money goes, how it's spent, and the direct impact it has on students. It provides opportunities to students that may never have a chance to get active and experience what being part of a team means. And in a selfish way I do it for myself as well. The love and joy I see on my athletes when we go bowling, or speed skate, or cross the finish line during Spring Games brings me such peace and happiness. I'm glad to be a part of it each year and I'm glad I get to have my middle school students experience the plunge with me. To show them the happiness it brings to donate/raise money for others and give back to your communities.
Cool Schools Plunger
I plunge in support of the incredible Special Olympics athletes across Maryland. Our fundraising makes it possible for them to participate in sports and other programs that they love. I also plunge in solidarity with my fellow law enforcement partners during the Police Plunge and fellow SuperPlungers during the SuperPlunge. Our efforts to raise awareness and funds really do make a difference. Seeing the genuine joy and smiles on the faces of those athletes is truly my 'why'.
Chief Melissa Hyatt
I plunge in memory of my Uncle Peter who had profound down syndrome. He passed in 2019 at age 59. Special Olympics and other organizations like it helped him have a wonderful life!
I plunge because I enjoy it, & love supporting Special Olympics in providing sports for me, & my friends. Special Olympics is my life!
We plunge because of people like Annu who deserve to play sports, just like we do. We know that sports are fun and scary and exciting all at once. Our parents are both teachers who are lucky to work with so many amazing students, including two Special Olympics Maryland athletes. Also, we'll do anything to support Aunt Jessie! Thanks for voting for us!
Katie & Will Greer
Special Olympics is the most amazing group of individuals you could find. They really show you there is still kindness in the world during these hard times. Just seeing the smiling faces and being around the positive energy is enough. I have truly made real friends. My only regret is not getting involved sooner.
This my first time plunging! I have been participating in Special Olympics since I was 7 years old. I now participate in 9 sports. I love it because I make friends, stay in shape and I get to try new things. I am an Athlete Leader and I want to raise awareness about Special Olympics. I'm also plunging because it's important to me to raise money for Special Olympics so we can grow. I want to have more unified sports available. I want all people with Intellectual Disabilities to have the chance to be involved with Special Olympics.
For seventh-grader Oliver Clark, the MSP Polar Bear Plunge has become a tradition that brings his family closer together each year. Between his team, Team Sutton, and his leadership at Baltimore’s Calvert School to fundraise as part of the Cool Schools Plunge, Oliver’s efforts have raised nearly $100,000 for Special Olympics Maryland in the past…Read More
Its the greatest cause I can think of. To be able to help such special people have a good time at all the events. I will continue to plunge as long as it goes. I have NEVER missed any of the Plunges, even when it was rescheduled twice in 2000. Thanks for letting me be part of this!
Richard W. Lasher
This year will be my 12th Plunge along with being the Team Captain of the Plunging Coconuts, it will be year 11 for the team in 2020. I started Plunging for a couple of reasons: sports is such a huge part of my life and I see all the time the positive aspects it can have; my next-door neighbor was autistic and I saw firsthand how social activities helped not only him but his family; and my mom has worked with students with special needs for over 20 years at a local school in Toledo, Ohio. Plunge day is not just about getting into the chilly waters of the Chesapeake Bay, it's about supporting such a great cause, and spending the day with friends who enjoy doing the same crazy thing you do.
The Plunging Coconuts
I Plunge because I know first-hand just how much athletes, partners, and volunteers are impacted so positively by being a part of Special Olympics Maryland. I Plunge so that SOMD can continue to change lives!
Cool Schools Plunger
I plunge because I love being able to support Special Olympics athletes and their families! The joy and passion that each athlete has for their sport(s) is incredibly inspiring!
Because I want to support the Special Olympics Maryland, plus my school doing the Plunge.
Cool Schools Plunger
I plunge for two reasons- first of all, I know several Special Olympic athletes and so admire their determination, enthusiasm, sportsmanship, and kindness towards teammates and opponents. Watching them or listening to them as they compete or talk about their endeavors warms my heart. Secondly, I plunge because I have 4 amazing granddaughters who dance, sing, take Karate, and play soccer, futsol, lacrosse, softball, and basketball. I am so grateful for their athleticism and how blessed we all are that they happy, healthy, and great teammates. We all plunge together - it is fun and they love supporting their fellow athletes.
I Plunge because I dream of world where our opportunities are not limited by disabilities
I live on the South River and thought it would be great to have a few of my neighborhood kids virtually plunge into the river. I have many friends with children with DS and I have always wanted to plunge, but just never did. This year I decided to see if a few of our neighborhood kids wanted to do a virtual plunge from our beach and the effort took on a life of its own! We were joined by a dear friends' daughter who is a Special Olympian and we could not have been more proud to support such an extraordinary program. It was a great day and we can't wait to do it again next year!
I plunge to support the incredible and longstanding partnership that the law enforcement community and SOMD have. The spirit and positive attitude that the athletes involved with Special Olympics bring, not only their participation in sporting competitions but to LIFE in general, is something that we can all learn from! It is an honor to be able to serve and give back in some small way to this excellent organization and amazing people.
Over the last 10 years, I have had the privilege of getting to know many of the athletes who are actively involved with Special Olympics Maryland. The athletes get to participate in sports, clinics, competitions, and events that are possible because of Special Olympics Maryland. The inclusivity of this organization is why I plunge. The athletes get to experience grueling practices, participate in challenging games and competitions, experience personal growth, learn the benefits of teamwork, feel the thrill of victory, and about a thousand other things, thanks to SOMD. I love Special Olympics Maryland and everything it represents.
Cool Schools Plunger
My first time plunging it was with friends, for the party, the right of passage as a Marylander. My second plunge was first year SOMD staff and I plunged as it was our signature event, it was the biggest source of manpower from my team, and it raised money for our athletes. This year's virtual plunge.... I plunged to raise money for our athletes, I plunged with Monique for a unified inclusive plunge experience. I plunge to change lives....athletes, marylanders, my own!
I do the Plunge for the challenge. I've been there since day one braving the cold, wind, rain, ice, and snow raising money so the FANTASTIC ATHLETES of SOMD can continue to represent Maryland world wide. Since 2002 when I hit the ripe old age of 50 I made the promise to myself to SPLASH in Southern MD, PLUNGE at Sandy Point and DUNK at Deep Creek a promise that I've kept to myself as well as the FANTASTIC ATHLETES that represent our GREAT state. The only challenge I have yet to fulfill is to raise enough money to do the SUPPER PLUNGE. In closing, I would like to thank some people, that through their hard work and commitment to this cause from day one, made the PLUNGE what it is today. Col. David Mitchell Maryland State Police, Steve Rouse and Company at WQSR, the team at Maryland Special Olympics, the crew at Sandy Point, Maryland Natural Resources Police, and of course anyone that was there for the first Plunge, Greg Shipley and his chili. Let's hope that in 2022 things return to normal. Tom "GREEN HAT" Haney
My son Patrick who has Autism and is a Harford county special Olympian is my inspiration. Our team was formed by a friend in honor of my son so I started plunging with them. Our team is polar bears for Patrick. We plunge on my sons birthday (Jan 25) weekend every year so it’s especially special for him since we celebrate his birthday with the team. Each year we try to get the number of members that he will turn age wise. (28 this year) but we haven’t succeeded yet. Though we always do get that number in donations.
It has been my absolute pleasure and honor to serve as the “Team Mom” for Catoctin High School’s Unified Sports Teams led by our amazing Coach Nesbitt. I’m awestruck by the spirit, character, and moxie of the athletes on our teams. They make our school and our community a kinder, better place. I plunge for: Megan, Destiny, Cam, Anna, Ava, Siddah, Grace, Will, Sarah, Sadie, Jazmyne, Johnny, Sammie, Jordan and so many more. Through these unforgettable kids, I plunge for all the Special Olympics Maryland athletes!
Cool Schools Plunger
I have actually plunged 2 times before for another organization. This year, I opted to participate in this Plunge for these reasons, I am a Special Olympics Athlete and I enjoy helping to raise money for all my co-athletes, it was extremely convenient to participate in with it being Virtual this year and I knew I would have fun!
Donnie Harmon III
Apparently, it runs in my family's blood to be adrenaline junkies. Each and every one of us. When my siblings first forced me to go with them to take a video of them as they plunged into the Bay, I knew immediately I wanted to join them next year. Well, I didn't, but the following year, I sure did, and I've plunged every year since, either with them or with my school. I'm so proud to have done it the past few years and this year, and I love participating in such an awesome tradition. I feel so exhilarated and I love roughing the cold with my friends and family. But of course, this would be nothing without the Special Olympics athletes. That's what everyone truly does this for, right? The Plunge wouldn't be the wonderful Maryland tradition it is without them. We raise money for THEM, and we plunge for THEM. It's always a great feeling knowing that what you're doing is for a good cause, and supporting Special Olympics Maryland is surely a good cause to dive into the coldest of waters for. It warms me more than the hot Wawa coffee I usually get after plunging to know that what I just did was for other people so I could put a smile on their faces. That's the best feeling ever.
Cool Schools Plunger
I plunge because Special Olympics improves the quality of life for all who participate.