Contributed by Richard Rhode, Director of Education
On Saturday, January 28, 2012, four instructors and an extern coordinator from Remington College – Baton Rouge Campus participated in the fourth annual Polar Bear Plunge, held at Cabela’s, an outdoor recreational goods store in Gonzales, Louisiana.
The event raised money for the Louisiana chapter of the Special Olympics organization, which sponsors year-round sports training and athletic competitions in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
About three weeks prior to the event, the five Remington College – Baton Rouge Campus volunteers – Amy Adams, Jusilyn Langley, Janis Mann, Sharon Pace, and Shashonnie Steward – signed up to “take the plunge.”
They each had to raise a minimum of $50 from sponsors, encourage fellow plungers to join them, and then choose their plunge costumes so that they could plunge in style, of course.
The group raised more than $700, with Janis and Amy being the top fundraisers. Much of the money was raised through donations by the faculty, staff, and student body.
In fact, when the announcement requesting donations was first made, hundreds of students stormed the donation area in a scene reminiscent of a “Black Friday” melee at Walmart. The students were more than eager to donate, contributing comments such as, “If I give more, do they have to stay in longer?” and “Can I hold their heads under?” An ugly scene, indeed – but all for a good cause.
And just how cold was it on plunge day? Actually, it was rather bearable, as polar plunges go: The ambient temperature was 60 degrees, and the water temperature was 58 degrees.
Prizes for the polar-plunging fundraisers included souvenir T-shirts, towels, and Cabela’s gift baskets. Entertainment, food, and beverages were also provided.
Campus President Mike Smith, who was there as a spectator and supporter, had this to say about the Campus’s fundraising effort: “Not only was it exciting to see the college raise a respectable amount of money for the organization, it gave the school plenty of publicity throughout the Baton Rouge area.”