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Taking the Plunge and Raising $2,235 for Special Olympics

Polar Plunge School district staff, family members and the superintendent from Tonawanda City Schools spent Saturday, Dec. 6 jumping into an ice cold Lake Erie to raise money for Special Olympics.
“The Tribe” team participated in the ninth annual Polar Plunge and raised $2,235 for the organization which funds training and competition for its athletes. The team exceeded their $1,000 monetary goal and was listed tenth on the Polar Plunge website for top teams. The team also exceeded its recruitment goal of 10 members. 
Organized by the school climate committee, the 14-member team included Russ Bachman, Larissa Bachman, Gina Butcher, Renee Cool, Mary Dischner, Amy Edgerton, Julie Insinna, Joelle Labert, Patricia Mulcahy, James Newton, Sheila Paprocki, Doug Peita, James Schraufstetter and David Sellan.
High School students also contributed $580 by holding three events where they paid $1 to wear pajamas on two school days and purchase hot cocoa and snacks.
This was the first time the district had participated in the fundraiser.
"We were initially drawn to the Polar Plunge because it's such a great cause - Special Olympics - and we were excited for the opportunity for our Tonawanda students and community to come together to help others," said Doug Peita, school psychologist.
According to the Polar Plunge website, there are 65,665 athletes in New York who train and compete year-round in 22 Olympics-style sports under the Special Olympics organization. The athletes and their families or caregivers are not charged to participate. It costs $500 to support training and competition for one athlete for one sports season.