On Saturday, Feb. 22, the annual Polar Plunge was held at the rec center in order to raise money to benefit the athletes who participate in the Special Olympics Indiana. 

The plungers gathered inside beforehand, as they waited to be submerged into the ice-cold water. Some of the attendees wore superhero costumes or outfits imitating famous fictional figures. 

Before the fun began, Jaquelyn Smith, a sergeant for the ISU police, sat down to discuss what the plunge is all about. 

“It’s a lot of fun. People dress in costumes and all of the proceeds go to the Special Olympics Indiana and it helps our local athletes come to the summer games and we do have some athletes who are participating today. It’s just a good feeling that everyone can contribute and have a good time. It’s for a good cause,” said Smith.

Not only are the events a lot of fun, they also have a great impact.

“It’s a good representation of ISU in the city of Terre Haute as well. We raised $800,000 for athletes last year and that goes towards shoes, glasses, dental, or any kind of health problem,” said Smith.

This year’s recipient of the Judy Campbell award, John Lentz, gave an interview discussing his involvement in the Special Olympics and how it’s impacted not only him but also Terre Haute as a whole. 

Lentz appeared sentimental and thankful when asked about what the Judy Campbell award meant to him.

“It was very nice and it made me feel very good. Special Olympics is very dear to my heart and I’ve been doing it for 30 something years and it’s my way to give back,” Lentz said. “Special Olympics does so much good work across the world. It’s a worldwide movement and they have to generate all of their own revenue from all kinds of resources. The polar plunge is the single largest vehicle for fundraising for the summer games in Special Olympics Indiana.”

Lentz not only believes in the good of the Special Olympics within Terre Haute but within students’ lives as well.

“We are hosting it here at ISU, so it gives students a chance to see how the community comes together. We have people here from all over the Wabash valley so it’s an opportunity for them to really see the importance of community for a very worthwhile cause,” Lentz said. “Everybody has to find something in their life to attach themselves to and to help. Helping people that are less fortunate than themselves is a wonderful opportunity to be able to benefit that cause.”