In 1996 a few hardy souls jumped into Lake Champlain during the Burlington Winter Carnival and raised more than $8,000 for Special Olympics Vermont. The initial fundraising efforts exceeded expectations and by the following year, $27,000 was raised at the second annual Burlington Penguin Plunge.
Today, the Penguin Plunge is a three-part series with events in North Bennington, Burlington, and Cool Schools-Burlington. Nearly 1,500 brave souls will jump into Vermont’s icy lakes to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics Vermont athletes. The Penguin Plunge has become a highly-anticipated staple of winter in Vermont and is widely recognized as a fun team building exercise for hundreds of families, schools, and businesses.
Students and staff from BFA Fairfax have been participating in this event for the last few years. This year they have challenged their community to raise $3,000. When they reach that goal, another staff member will join them and “Go Jump in a Lake” … Ms. Gomo! The team is assigned their jump-in-the-lake number.
Special Olympics Vermont (SOVT) provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in thirteen Olympic-type sports for more than 1,140 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. In schools, Unified Sports offers students with and without disabilities opportunities to train and compete together and build communities of respect and inclusion. Across three events (North Bennington, Burlington and Cool Schools-Burlington), the Penguin Plunge events raise more than $450,000 (45% of the SOVT operating budget!) to fund our programs and support our athletes.
This year’s event will take place at the Burlington Waterfront on February 6, 2016. The event starts at 8am and teams enter the water in staggered waves. Come on down and support our BFA school team! If you would like to contribute, go to: http://www.firstgiving.com/team/308038
Our school participates in Unified Sports and is grateful to Special Olympics for providing an opportunity for our athletes to compete as a part of a gloal movement that works year-round to foster inclusion and acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities by using the power of sport to showcase their gifts and abilities.
Target 2. Leadership. “FWSU students and staff lead innovative, personalized learning opportunities, both locally and globally.”
Action Steps – Design multiple avenues for students and staff to lead, advocate, and serve within the school and community.