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Polar Plunge, Special Olympics bringing participants closer together

TOWN OF FENTON (WBNG) – The Chenango Valley State Park filled up with eager swimmers and cold water plungers Saturday, as hundreds gathered for the Special Olympics of New York’s Polar Plunge.

The plunge was the first event of it’s nature in New York state this year, with funds going towards programs and athletes across the entire state.

Special Olympics New York director of Development, Cassandra Rucker, told 12 News those who plunged today were able to hep raise over $15,000, and that the number is still rising.

In attendance were student-athletes from BOCES, bracing the cold water for a good cause.

“It was amazing,” BOCES student Omar Barry said. “Even though it was freezing, it was a lot of fun.”

Coach for the BOCES Special Olympics team, Liz Bunzey, was glad to see the huge support for not only here group, but for all the Special Olympics athletes.

“It shows our athletes that we support them as a community, we’re fundraising for them, we’re excited for them to be able to compete in sports,” Bunzey said. “They are the person I want to be when I grow up.”

Kyle Losty, an intern for Special Olympics New York, echoed a similar sentiment.

“It’s a really special event for all the people involved in Special Olympics,” Losty said. “It’s great for the athletes to see all the support they have, and to do it in a place .”

For Bunzey, the funds are just the tip of a much bigger iceberg that Special Olympics and events like the Polar Plunge offer.

“Special Olympics gives the kids so much more than just sports. They build lifelong friendships. It’s amazing,” Bunzey said. “They are just bright shining stars all around.”

Cal Dymowski

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