This past Saturday, 22 Foster MBA Student jumped into Lake Union in order to raise money for Special Olympics of Washington. Together, we raised almost $7,500 for this worthy organization. This is a far cry from last year when only a handful of people participated and the money raised was seven times less. Aside from the 22 who actually braved the water, we had several in the “Chicken Coop” and numerous more volunteering in various ways throughout the event.
Every year, Special Olympics fundraises money through Polar Plunges. The purpose of these events is for individuals in the community to band together into teams, raise money, and then jump into a cold body of water. For the Foster MBA Team, that cold body of water was Lake Union. And yes, it was cold. Not nearly as cold as someplace like the Maine coast, but still cold enough to shock the breath out of you and make you want to turn around and immediately run out of the water!
The event kicked off at noon with thank yous for the top fundraisers (one individual raised over $7,000!). The Foster Team finished in 3rd place for team fundraising, with Seattle University narrowly taking second place. During these announcements, all people were in the clothing they were planning on jumping in. For one this was a full suit and tie, for one it was merely a speedo, for others it was running tights/shorts and t-shirts. With the wind whipping across Lake Union, one thing was universal: no matter what you wore during the preamble, you were cold!
When the time came, the 22 of us raced down the beach and jumped into the water. Despite the cold and despite the blocks of ice our feet became, we were all smiles! After all, we were “freezin’ for a reason!” I can’t wait to see how many Foster-ites participate next year! Perhaps we’ll even get a Super Plunger or two (Super Plungers jump into the water every half hour for 10 hours).