RANGELY I In November, supporters of Special Olympics Colorado will gather at Kenney Reservoir for the first ever Polar Plunge held on the Western Slope of Colorado.
On Nov. 14 at 1 p.m., fundraisers will risk the chilly water by taking a dip in the lake, all in the name of helping Western Colorado Special Olympics athletes.
The plunge is being coordinated by Norian James, the athletic trainer at the Colorado Northwestern Community College campus in Rangely.
“I think the event will be a great day overall, but I’m nervous for the amount of participation,” James said. “I’m excited to see how it all comes together.”
Money raised as part of the event will benefit the 2,600 Special Olympics of Western Colorado athletes who participate in a wide variety of activities including snowshoeing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, basketball, aquatics, soccer, powerlifting, bocce ball, cycling, golf, softball, bowling, equestrian and volleyball.
Those interested in participating will need to register and raise a minimum of $75 to participate unless they are Special Olympics athletes who are required to raise a minimum of $50.
James is hopeful that participants will get excited about the event saying, “I’ve seen pictures of people doing it elsewhere and they are all decked out in costumes. I’m excited to see if anyone goes that far and dresses up!”
James got involved with the Special Olympics after hosting a volleyball camp at CNCC several years ago.
“(These athletes) were having so much fun and I was just so glad that I could be a part of that,” she said.”After that camp, I tried to think of other ways that I, and the college, could be involved in helping this organization.”
Several community departments will be helping out at the event, including the Rangely Rural Protection Fire District, which will provide a dive team, the hospital, which is sending an ambulance to act as a first aide station, and the Rangely Police Department.
“Chief Wilzcek has been great in raising money and talking to the various boards about the event,” James said.
Those interested in participating or looking for more information can access the Rangely Polar Plunge Facebook page or go to soco.kintera.org/RangelyPolarPlunge.