District News

Special Olympians Bring Polar Plunge Home

Posted on: February 21, 2021
Polar Plunge

Traditionally, the Polar Plunge consists of dozens of teams jumping into a pool of cold water in Newport, KY.  Like so many things in the past year, “traditional” went out the window thanks to the pandemic.  The Harrison Special Olympics program wasn’t going to let this tradition go by the wayside.

On a frigid 15-degree morning, over 30 brave souls took to the snow-covered turf at Bill Kuntz Field to be sprayed with ice-cold water – turning the Polar Plunge into the Polar Spray.  The Harrison Fire Department brought Quint 57, the ladder extending over the bleachers to spray the participants, ensuring that no one left the field with dry clothing!

Holding the event locally allowed for greater levels of participation and inclusion.  In fact, Harrison’s team was #1 in the city for number of participants.  “To hold this event locally means that our community members could participate in order to make the event more inclusive,” said Ashley Hotopp, Harrison High School’s Special Olympics Coach.  “One of the main reasons why we are established as a Unified Champion School is because of the support of our community.  We had high school students with and without disabilities participate in this year’s Plunge, and that’s what has made it so special”. 

Over $9,000 was raised through donations and pledges to the participants, more than quadrupling the original goal.  These funds will stay local, supporting our Harrison Special Olympians with uniforms, competitions (both in-person and virtually), equipment, and other needed gear.