By Pamela Mathias
The thermometer registered a chilling 21 degrees. Wind cut into their skin like razorblades. Sand and snow swirled recklessly through the air, chaffing their faces and bare limbs. As they entered the frigid water, the high pitched screams and cries of shock pierced the beach.
No, this isn’t the latest Hollywood horror story. It’s the body numbing experience of 10 Towson University representatives from Event & Conference Services. On January 25, 2013, their team, better known as the “Ice Guys,” participated in the Corporate Day portion, of the 17th Annual Special Olympics of Maryland, Polar Bear Plunge.
“My feet were completely numb and I couldn’t feel my legs. But, I felt so proud to be standing next to my co-workers as we were shivering,” Brooke Jacobs stated. “As a team, we came together and raised so much money and had so much fun! The support from our friends, family and University family was awesome. It was an experience that I will never forget.”
The dedicated E&CS team raised over $5895 in donated pledges for their willingness to take on the icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay. The brave team consisted of six professional staff members, three student staff members and one staff member’s daughter.
Tom Judd declared: “The best part of doing it was knowing that we raised thousands of dollars for the hardworking Special Olympics athletes just by jumping into some cold water! They are so appreciative of every dollar that is raised. It makes the whole event so worth-while.”
Special Olympics of Maryland has hosted their Summer Games for the past 8 years at Towson University. Many of the Event & Conference Services staff work closely with the participants and create some wonderful memories.
“Our department gets to know the Special Olympics athletes during their time each summer on our campus,” added Adam Weaver. “Raising funds by plunging is an easy way to give back to them and provide money for experiences that they may not be able to have otherwise!”
Will the E&CS team fight the elements and plunge again next year?
“Absolutely,” said Beth Walsh. “Just try and stop us! Plans are already being made to exceed the funds raised this year! “