North Penn raises nearly $10K in freezing water

Freezin+for+a+reason%3A+NPHS+students+shiver+on+a+snowy+day+in+late+January+at+Citizens+Bank+Park.+NPHS+brought+71+people+to+the+Polar+Plunge+to+raise+money+for+Special+Olympics.+

Karen Wenhold

Freezin for a reason: NPHS students shiver on a snowy day in late January at Citizen’s Bank Park. NPHS brought 71 people to the Polar Plunge to raise money for Special Olympics.

How cold is too cold? It’s never too cold when you’re “freezin’ for a reason.”

On January 28 the North Penn Special Olympics Club set off to Citizen Bank Park to plunge in the water in the freezing temperature and snow. 

Each year North Penn Special Olympics raises money and participates in the Special Olympics Polar Plunge. This year the club outmatched their goal and raised a total of $9.626 and brought 71 people with us to plunge. North Penn raised the most money out of any of the schools participating.

But everywhere I turned I just found people who were supportive including our administration, teachers, staff, parents, and students.  Our Special Olympics Club members also did a great job spreading the word. ”

— Mrs. Sue Ahart, NPHS Special Olympics Club adviser

“I have been beyond thrilled with the turnout that we had for polar plunge.  I really didn’t know what to expect when we were returning from the Holiday break in yet another COVID surge.  I honestly didn’t know if it would end up being canceled or if we would have been blocked from going because of staffing and transportation issues.  But everywhere I turned I just found people who were supportive including our administration, teachers, staff, parents, and students.  Our Special Olympics Club members also did a great job spreading the word.  I think we owe a lot to Molly Agriss’ interview on the morning show and Peyton Stagliano’s article in the Crier to get the word out to students who aren’t actively involved in Special Olympics.  The turnout leaves me very hopeful for the continued growth of our club and Unified Sports,” North Penn High Special Olympics adviser Mrs. Sue Ahart shared.

Seth Walton, a NPHS senior, plunges into the icy waters. (Karen Wenhold)

When this year’s plungers arrived at citizens bank park it was 32 degrees and snowing but this did not put a stop to our energy. The excitement and energy brought by North Penn was incredible. Fox News and Channel 3 News was there to record and to interview our Plungers. We even had some students jumping in twice to be on multiple news channels. 

This event was so important because it gave Special Olympics a chance to raise money for our club. The money we raise can give us opportunities to do more things with the club such as zoo trips, buying supplies for our meetings, and many other things.

Special Olympics brings together two different groups of people. It creates an open environment where you can come and meet new people. The kindness that is shown during our meetings and bocce practices would warm anyone’s heart. 

I honestly think that Special Olympics Club and Unified Sports have a great impact on all that are involved; students with disabilities (athletes), those without disabilities (partners), as well as staff and coaches.”

— Mrs. Sue Ahart, NPHS Special Olympics Adviser

“I honestly think that Special Olympics Club and Unified Sports have a great impact on all that are involved; students with disabilities (athletes), those without disabilities (partners), as well as staff and coaches. Many of the athletes that we have been involved in Special Olympics have disabilities that impact their communication and social skills.  Many of them have been receiving speech therapy and social skills instruction for years.  Those therapies are a fabulous way for students to learn skills but Special Olympics gives them an opportunity to apply those skills in a more natural but still supportive way.  Special Olympics helps students to work in groups and to cooperate with others.  It has also been a great way for some students to show their leadership abilities by taking on roles as club officers,” Ahart continued.

Ahart sees great value in Special Olympics for all students involved the school’s chapter. 

 “Through Special Olympics, I have seen how students learn that they have strong skills in working with those with disabilities.  I think it helps some students to shape their decisions about their future careers. I also think that Special Olympics is a welcomed change of pace for students who are accustomed to intense academic and athletic experiences at school.  My hope is that those students can come to Special Olympics activities and just have fun.”