Special Olympics Texas takes a plunge for inspiring athletes

Published: Feb. 19, 2022 at 8:06 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Athletes competing in Special Olympics Texas north region made a splash on Saturday at the Boomtown Bay Family Aquatic Center in Burkburnett during their polar plunge. This yearly fundraiser helps make a way for athletes to get into the game no matter what obstacles they may be facing.

“They started at 8:30 this morning. I did it at 10:30 because I didn’t want to do it that early. I’m hoping next year I can take the plunge with Vanessa,” said Wes Darnell, athletic leader of Special Olympics Texas north region. “For 20 years I’ve done football, basketball, soccer, track, swimming, polar plunge, and bowling.”

Special Olympics Texas serves over 1,000 athletes across north Texas through school districts and communities for ages 5 and older.

“Our goal is inclusion and us being unified in everything we do. Not just in our sports activities but everything in life so for us bringing the community, our athletes, and the school districts together it’s huge for us,” said Vanessa Alonzo, area program director of Special Olympics Texas.

The nonprofit had a goal of raising $20,000 for the entire region and at $30 for each plunge, it was a cause that the whole community stood behind.

‘We had a couple of elementary schools and Burkburnett ISD had students and faculty that plunged. Then we had city officials from Burk. To plunge, you had to donate and some people just donated for other people to plunge,” said Alonzo. “Next year Wes and I will do the Polar Plunge together.”

“It’s fun and I like it! " I’m going to keep doing it until I’m 60 or 70,” said Darnell.

To find out more information on Special Olympics Texas visit their Facebook page.

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