The first annual Warsaw Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Indiana was held Saturday at Center Lake in Warsaw. Mayor Joe Thallemer cannonballed to lead a total of 65 plungers.
The event raised over $13,000 to help Special Olympics athletes in the community train locally and compete at area and state-level events, according to Buzz Lail, North West regional manager, Special Olympics Indiana, in a provided release.
Brian Lardino, Warsaw, took the honors as Top Individual Fundraiser with over $700 raised. DePuy Synthes was the Team Fundraising Champion with over $1,200.
Amy Kammerdiener-Lippe and Jason Langhorn of DePuy were co-captains. The Big Bad Bears composed of Warsaw Community High School faculty and led by Brenda Linky were a close second. The team with the most plungers was the WCHS Student Council led by Julene Walker, faculty advisor. The Bone City Rollers roller derby team from Warsaw won the Best Costume Award and came in a strong third place in fundraising, according to the release.
The event could not have taken place without the work of the Warsaw Police Department Aquatics Unit led by Sergeant Joe Hawn and John Sloan of Lake City Scuba, Lail said.
Becky Walls, county coordinator for Special Olympics Kosciusko County, along with her volunteers and athletes, made the “After Splash Bash” a place to warm up and enjoy lunch after the plunge.
Liz McKinley, Warsaw Parks and Recreation recreation director, helped develop and direct the event.
Mark Dobson, Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce president, and chamber staff helped promote the event and supported the plunge personally as well.
WCHS Students Skyler and David Holsclaw helped with promotional activities and event set up and operations. Other volunteers included Grace College Student Kerri Pingel and Kohl’s Associates In Action Volunteers from the Warsaw and Goshen stores.
For additional information contact Lail at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.soindiana.org
(Story By The Times Union)