SRU students take ‘polar plunge’ for Special Olympics PA

Nov. 10, 2016

A group of 30 Slippery Rock University students took a "polar plunge" in Lake Erie Nov. 9 to support Special Olympics Pennsylvania's interscholastic unified sports program. Each student raised a minimum of $50 to participate in the event.

SOP transported "plungers" to Erie for a morning of food, beach games and live music prior to the groups jump into the lake.

The group included adapted physical activity majors: Amanda Perricone from Bedminster; Kimberly Eisel from South Park; Megan Fredland from Pittsburgh; Arielle Gantt from Pittsburgh; Alexis Hamilton from Montoursille; Dontay Holder from Philadelphia; Monica Klock from Butler; Natalie Manga from New York City; Bryant Miller from Pittsburgh; and Lindsay Schirra, and adapted physical activity major from Pittsburgh; adapted physical activity graduate students: Ashley Fryberger from Paoli; Rachel Lovell from Bethlehem; Courtney McKearin from Paintsville, Kentucky; Evan Meulemans from Brillion, Wisconsin; Lydia North from Yankey Hill, California; Mandy O'Keefe from Slippery Rock; Hannah Shady from Lock Haven; JoJo Smyth from Pacifica, California; Jillian Stringfellow from Fairhope, Alabama; and Sara Wiles from Glenville; Jenna Malsbury, a public health major from West Palm Beach, Florida; and Justin Murphy, a sport management major from Pittsburgh.

The interscholastic unified sports program is a Special Olympics initiative that enables high school students with and without intellectual disabilities to train and compete on the same team. SRU's version of the program, launched in 2015, reaches eight high schools in Butler, Lawrence and Mercer counties with more than 100 students taking part.