The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

Breaking News
  • May 31Yearbook party is June 6th during blocks 1 and 2 (have to have purchased a yearbook)
  • May 30June 7- BSU's Juneteenth cookout - $2 per block
  • May 30SAT on June 1
  • May 30Prom is 5/31 - Have fun and stay safe
The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

Two Teachers and one student take the plunge to raise money for Special Olympics

Miss+Lombardi+rocks+her+polar+bear+hat+while+Miss+Simkovich+wears+her+70s+wig+as+they+prepare+to+plunge+into+the+37+degree+waters+of+Seaside+Heights.+
Photo Credit: Brianna Kelly
Miss Lombardi rocks her polar bear hat while Miss Simkovich wears her 70’s wig as they prepare to plunge into the 37 degree waters of Seaside Heights.

On February 22nd, participants of the Polar Bear Plunge braved the cold water to raise money for the Special Olympics in Seaside Heights, New Jersey and reached their goal of one million dollars.

The Special Olympics is an organization that hosts athletic competitions for both children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

To show their support for the cause, people dressed in costumes and carried flags as they jumped into the 37 degree water. There were more than 40,000 spectators lined up along the boardwalk to watch as the teams went into the water. The warmer weather was a shock to the participants at this year’s event.

Last year, due to Hurricane Sandy, they did not have the event at Seaside like they had done for many years; instead, it was held in Long Branch. There was some disappointment due to that, but with a record number of people participating and watching the event this year, things have turned around.

Story continues below advertisement

“I thought it was a really good cause so I decided to do it. It was fun way to get people together”

— Sophia Figueroa, 11th Grader

Miss Kristin Lombardi, Art Teacher at Colonia and 3rd year Plunger stated, “This year had the most people and was definitely the warmest plunge. It was nice to be back in Seaside.” Lombardi raised over $300 this year and has worn the same polar bear hat for all of her plunges.

The Polar Bear Plunge for Seaside Heights’s goal was to raise a minimum of one million dollars by the start of the event, which, of course, they reached two days prior to the event even beginning. The Polar Bear Plunge has taken place in New Jersey for 20 years and has continually reached its goal of a million dollars for years. This year, there were about 6,000 participants of the Polar Bear Plunge and approximately 340 teams.

“Now that I’ve been doing this for a few years, I realized that it’s a worthy activity that can bring people together. It’s nice to be a part of something bigger than yourself,” said Miss Danielle Simkovich, English teacher & 5th year Plunger. Simkovich does the plunge with her siblings, friends, and a few State Troopers. in a group called Simko’s Surf Shack. This year Simkovich raised $513 for the cause and dressed as a disco diva fully equipped with an afro wig.

New Jersey residents running out of the water to warm-up.
New Jersey residents running out of the water to warm-up.

Colonia High School raised money for the Special Olympics as well with a hat day that took place on February 21st. Students sold ribbons during lunch and raised $186 towards this cause.

“I thought it was a really good cause so I decided to do it. It was fun way to get people together,” said Sophia Figueroa, junior at Colonia High School, who also participated in this event. It was her first year doing the event and she even raised about $160.

The Polar Bear Plunge will benefit over 23,000 athletes that participate in the event. They have over 20 sports to participate in, including volleyball, figure skating, basketball, softball, soccer, track & field, and gymnastics.

Anyone above the age of 8 can participate in the Special Olympics and children between the age of 2 ½ and 7 are eligible to participate in their Youth Athlete Program. All the money donated to The Polar Bear Plunge goes towards helping these events.

If this fundraiser interests you, Lombardi offers this as advice to 1st time plungers, “When you hit the water, it isn’t cold cause your adrenaline is pumping. You get cold after.”

 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Brianna Kelly
Brianna Kelly, Spring Reporter and Editor
Brianna Kelly is a 18-year-old junior at Colonia High School and has lived in Colonia her entire life along with her family. She has written for The Declaration for four years and has taken both Journalism classes offered at CHS. Kelly is currently a member of Heroes and Cool Kids as well as Newspaper Club. She is also a member of both the Quill and Scroll Honor Society and the French Honor Society and has played volleyball for CHS since she was a freshman. In her spare time, Kelly enjoys running and can usually be found playing volleyball, reading, or watching movies. She also enjoys shopping, listening to music, and hanging out with friends and family. She also enjoys volunteering and her favorite subjects in school are English and Science. Her favorite foods consist of almonds, cheeseburgers, strawberries, and M&M's. After graduating high school, Kelly plans on attending college for environmental science, but is unsure where she wishes to go. She enjoys writing for The Declaration and is looking forward to another exciting year as a reporter and editor for the paper.

Comments (0)

The Declaration reserved the rights to not publish comments that are offensive, are hurtful, are in bad taste, are not constructive, or are spam.
All The Declaration Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
The student news site of Colonia High School
Two Teachers and one student take the plunge to raise money for Special Olympics