On February 4, faculty members from the High Road School of Wright City left their warm beds and headed for the frigid waters of Lake Saint Louis in Missouri. This marked the staff’s third year participating in the “Polar Plunge” event, in support of Special Olympics Missouri athletes.

Adding to the fun, the team from the High Road School wore costumes representative of ‘90s cartoon characters for their dip into the freezing lake.

Ahead of the event, teams fundraise with each member racing to have the most sign-ups, shares on social media, and donations. However, the real reward comes from seeing first-hand the athletes being supported through the endeavor. This year, the High Road School of Wright City team raised $2,352 in total.

The staff’s participation was encouraged by Tiffany Lamborgini-Rowbottom, one of the very first hires at the High Road School at Wright City, who has a long-standing history of supporting the Special Olympics Missouri. It’s also the Special Olympics’ message that keeps the Wright City team returning.

“Their message, ‘People with intellectual disabilities can–and will–succeed when given the chance’ aligns with what the staff believes and lives in working with our students every day,” said Mary Claire Engel, program director of the High Road School of Wright City and captain of this year’s polar plungers. “Once our educators understood the Special Olympics’ mission and saw first-hand how it impacted opportunities for our students, we were committed.”