Special Olympics Michigan Caps Polar Plunge Season With Lansing Lawmakers

Every year the Special Olympics Michigan caps off their Polar Plunge campaign with the Legislative Plunge at the Michigan State Capitol.

This year it, like everything, was done a little differently due to COVID-19 but overall the fundraising season was a major success.

“It came to a point where we knew that our traditional plunges of jumping in pools just was not going to be the best option,” said Special Olympics Michigan CEO Tim Hileman.51003698858 B9eb4b8fa9 O

Special Olympics went virtual, asking everyone to plunge at home.

“We’ve been amazed at the creativity of so many plungers throughout the state,” said Hileman.

They lowered their goals. Last year, plungers set a record with nearly $1.4 million raised. With fewer expenses, given no competition for nearly a full calendar year, they aimed for half a million dollars in this COVID year.

“We’ve been thrilled to be able to blow past that,” said Hileman “We’re sitting at $675,000 right now, and with the Legislative Plunge, I believe we’re going to surpass $700,000, which is really helpful for us.”

“Throughout this pandemic, we’ve seen a lot of good causes getting people to donate money,” said State Senator Wayne Schmidt of Traverse City, “It’s really helping out.”

With the Legislative Plunge, dozens of lawmakers and their staff made the final plunges for the fundraising season. Instead of a giant pool, each person had a personal kiddie pool.

“It was a little cold. I wore my Lake Superior State University mask because it kind of felt like Lake Superior in there,” said Sen. Schmidt after lightly stepping into the ankle deep water.

Next year the plan is to bring back the pool, bring back the lofty goal and bring back the full plunge.

“I’ll be back next year,” said Schmidt, “I’ll be there to help again.”