MIDLOTHIAN, Va. (WWBT) - Normally the Polar Plunge would see thousands flock to Virginia Beach in support of Special Olympics Virginia, but this year’s pandemic environment has things working a little bit differently.
In lieu of a massive plunge at once this year, Special Olympics is asking supporters to plunge in their own ways. Cosby High School is using social media to raise money for the cause and spread awareness throughout its community.
Titans’ head cheerleading coach and special education teacher Jessica Campbell signed the school up for a Penguin Plunge, a virtual race in which a number of rubber penguins will float down a lazy river. For each $100 raised, students or teams get a penguin, and the winning penguin’s school gets the chance to dunk its director of student activities in a dunk tank.
Students have been using their social media pages to get the word out and for fundraising efforts.
“I knew we needed something that was positive, and not a COVID positive,” said Campbell. “I came across this e-mail and this is a perfect opportunity for our students in the building and our students at home to come together as if there’s something normal going on.”
Campbell’s initial goal was to raise $1,000 for the plunge, but Cosby hit that amount in just two days. As of Friday, the Titans had raised more than $10,000.
“My cheerleaders actually one day, they came in and had all of these floats and pool noodles and things, just to do a little photoshoot and show that they were coming together to support the Polar Plunge,” the head coach noted. “They’ve been putting it on their social media, families have been writing up stories about how the Special Olympics has impacted their lives and things of that sort.”
The virtual Penguin Plunge will take place on Friday.
“Sitting back and watching our students who are still in the building and the ones who are going to benefit from this, seeing how the money has increased and how they’re getting the support, just the little comments that people put on the page, it really brings smiles and joy to their lives,” Campbell said. “It makes them feel important, it makes them feel included, which is, as a teacher, the number one thing is to make these students feel as if they’re having a normal high school experience.”
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