Braving the icy waters

Published 9:12 am Wednesday, February 14, 2018

What if I told you that you could make a difference in the lives of others by plunging into an ocean full of chilly water in February? Would you take the challenge?

Recently, a group of Area 15 Special Olympics athletes and supporters braved the icy Atlantic waters in Virginia Beach to raise money for Special Olympics in the state.

I commend these athletes and supporters for having the drive and the courage to take on the challenge and make such a significant impact in the Special Olympics community.

The local team raised more than $10,000, of which they will receive 65 percent back.

These funds are important to the area athletes and supporters, as it helps to provide programs.

“A significant percentage of all of our fundraising comes back to our local area,” said Representative Joanne Catron. “A small percentage does stay at the state level, and that’s important because we are able to access the state-level scholarships and because we participate in at least three state-level events every year.”

A press release from Special Olympics Virginia stated nearly $1.2 million was raised from this year’s event with about 3,734 participants.

Not only are these supporters extremely dedicated to the cause, but the event provides a fun outlet for everyone to come together for the weekend and see their hard work in action.

These organizations are an important part of our community, and we could all learn a thing or two from their perseverance each year surrounding the main event. Not only does Area 15 participate in the Polar Plunge held in Virginia Beach, but Catron said the group will also take part in Radford’s New River Plunge to be held Feb. 24.

Congratulations on a job well done! The funds from these events will help change the lives of those who love and participate in the Special Olympics event locally and across the state. What could be better than that?

Italia Gregory is community editor of The Charlotte Gazette. Her email address is Italia.Gregory@