Mustang takes the plunge

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By Traci Chapman

A lot of warm hearts heated up a cold event last weekend to help Mustang’s special athletes.

The annual Polar Plunge, held at Whitewater Bay, brings together a disparate collection of people from very different places across the area, but each had a similar goal – to help others.

polar plunge 2“It’s a chance for us to help support the kids – they’re definitely amazing,” Mustang High School student Kassady Craskin said.

Those kids are Mustang’s special education students, many of whom compete in Oklahoma Special Olympics. Juniors and seniors in Greg Oswald’s SAS class – Students Assisting Students – spend time with and help those in special education, giving them a link to the rest of the school’s student body, plungers said.

“We love them,” Ashton Evans said.

polar plunge 6That led the group to the Polar Plunge, an annual Special Olympics fundraiser. Held at locations throughout the country, in Oklahoma City the event was held last Saturday at Whitewater Bay. Plungers came from several schools, joined by members of law enforcement and individuals who wanted to lend a hand. All plunged into the 40-degree water to help raise funds and awareness for Special Olympians.

“It’s a great experience,” Oswald said. “I am so proud of all of these kids and how they’ve worked to help their fellow students, both in and out of the classroom.”

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Mustang students were not alone in their representation of the community. Police Chief Chuck Foley took a dip in his second plunge, sporting a Duck Dynasty motif and raising about $1,100 in the process. His goal was $1,000, and he collected $775 last year, he said.

“I was never able to take part in the Polar Plunge until last year,” Foley said. “It was a chilly experience, but there’s so much festivity going on, it’s just a great, great thing.

“We have several Special Olympians in Canadian County and particularly in the Mustang School District,” the chief said. “I want to do this for them, to help raise money and also to support them in their efforts.”

Those Special Olympians do a lot more than compete in the games, their champions said. While jumping into a cold pool to raise funds would be both fun and rewarding, it was nothing compared to their interactions with their friends in special education, she said.

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“They are definitely amazing – they take for granted things we do without thinking every day,” Alexa Elders said. “They change your life.”