Buffalo, NY - Ten members of the D'Youville Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) took part in the Polar Plunge this past weekend, raising money for the Special Olympics.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Polar Plunge has raised just north of $146,000 for the Special Olympics. Of that $146,000, the ten members of the D'Youville SAAC raised $1,460 through generous donations.
Woodlawn Beach in Blasdell, NY was the site of the 11th annual Polar Plunge with over 1,000 people in attendance. The ten D'Youville student-athletes who represented D'Youville were: Ashley Carney (softball), Cameron Colan (softball), Alexis Dymond (softball), Megan Dulniak (women's soccer), Maddie Jacobs (softball), Travis Macrides (baseball), Megan Meyer (softball), Dominique Riforgiato (women's soccer), Rylie Russo (softball), and Tyler Siegmann (baseball).
As SAAC President, Macrides helped organize donations, participants, and awareness for the event. To Macrides, taking the plunge was more than taking a brisk dip on a cold day, but more about what it stood for.
"It is always rewarding to help others at this time of the year," said Macrides. "We were more than happy to help to raise money for such a worthy cause. The Special Olympics are a great organization and it was a really unique experience for myself and our committee."
SAAC is made up of student athlete representatives from each of D'Youville's 14 sports who are determined to improve the community by giving back and participating in events such as the Polar Plunge. Representatives from all 14 D'Youville teams were either in attendance or supported the plungers though donations.
There are nearly 5 million Special Olympics athletes throughout the world, including athletes from ages 8 and up from 172 countries. The Special Olympics were founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver as as she worked in research of intellectual disabilities in the late 1940s to opening a summer camp for young individuals with intellectual disabilities in the early 1960s. From there, Shriver continues to run her camp in conjunction with the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation and form the Special Olympics.