RIDGELAND, Mississippi– Polarpalooza for the Special Olympics is happening Saturday, February 14, at Madison Landing. People will be plunging into the chilly rez to raise money and awareness for the Mississippi Special Olympics.
Tuesday at Madison Landing, Tony Bahou, CEO of Special Olympics Mississippi, took a preview plunge into the reservoir. When he came back in from the waters, Bahou said he felt like a winner.
“I feel brave,” says Bahou about the cold water, “but not as brave as these guys, who struggle every day to be part of our community.”
Special Olympics Athletes. Some of them will be taking the plunge on Saturday. They’re the reason for the freezin’, as Jim Beaguez with the Special Olympics would say.
“The oath for the Special Olympics Athletes,” Beaguez says, “is let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
The hope of the festival is to raise money for the Special Olympics organization.
“We just hope to break even,” say Bahou, “but if we get $50,000, that’s great,too. We want to get the brand back out there.”
Beyond the Polar Bear Plunge, the festival will also feature bands and food all day long. North Mississippi Allstars, Mustache the Band, Stogdaddy & the Good Time Band and Jarekus Singleton are all set to perform. Jarekus Singleton says it is a great experience to be standing for Special Olympics Mississippi.
“I was once an athlete,” says Singleton, “and to be part of a support system for these athletes is awesome.”
People wanting to plunge can do so alone or as part of the Lover’s Leap, when groups can jump together. Fore more information or to register, refer to their website www.specialolympicsms.org.
Here’s Tony Bahou taking the plunge: