AHS Students Participate in Polar Bear Plunge

February 7, 2017

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The MSP Polar Bear plunge is the largest polar bear plunge hosted in the United States.

The MSP Polar Bear plunge is the largest polar bear plunge hosted in the United States.

The MSP Polar Bear plunge is the largest polar bear plunge hosted in the United States.

On Thursday, January 26th, dozens of Annapolis High School students plunged into the bitterly cold water of the Chesapeake Bay. This was more than just a frosty form of self-torture (as some students are inclined to see it); instead, it was a way to raise money and awareness for a good cause.

The Cool Schools Challenge, which has been hosted at Sandy Point State Park for eight years, is one of the primary fundraisers for Special Olympics Maryland and an offshoot of the larger MSP Polar Bear Plunge. Students raised a minimum of $50 for the privilege of taking a dip in the “balmy” 40° water.

As six-time plunger Brooke Rice said, “When I started doing [the Polar Bear Plunge] through the school I saw how important it was that Special Olympics received donations. Our school gets funding for the unified sports through the Special Olympics and the athletes love these sports. It’s an opportunity for them to be involved and have fun with all kinds of people, and I want to help make sure that they can continue to do so.”

AHS’s very own team, the Plunging Panthers, collected a total of $9,216 for the cause, with the NJROTC contributing an additional $3,575. These donations, combined with the efforts of around 3,000 other Maryland students, ensure that all those who benefit from the Special Olympics MD will continue to receive the funding and opportunities that they deserve.

Early-arriving students survey the scenery.

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