TERRE HAUTE — Fifty-two people took the plunge Saturday at Hulman Center — the Polar Plunge, that is.
Nearly $9,000 was raised to benefit Special Olympics Indiana, leaving plungers “freezin’ for a reason” at the event, first of its kind in Terre Haute. This year marks the 40th anniversary for Special Olympics.
Special Olympics Indiana is a non-profit organization that provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in various Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Summer games are hosted each year at Indiana State University, which will be June 5 through 7 this year.
Awards were given to those who wore the best costume and who raised the most money for the cause at the Polar Plunge.
Patty Cottom, 55, of Terre Haute won the award for best costume as she dressed up like a chicken with a sign around her neck that read, “Spring Chicken.”
She said she chose to plunge because she was challenged by her co-workers at Union Hospital. She told them if they raised $150, then she would plunge, and they raised $504, she said.
“It wasn’t that bad,” Cottom said. “It was a lot of fun. I’ll do it again.”
An event such as this one is important because it raises money for an event that “provides an opportunity for the developmentally challenged children and adults to get out there and strut their stuff,” she said. “They work hard all year getting ready for the Olympics and this is their chance to shine.”
Also, donning a costume, though not as covered as many, was ISU senior Kyle Cunningham, 22, of Muncie.
Sporting a pair Abercrombie boxers, tennis shoes, racing gloves and a racing helmet, he carried a loaf of Wonder Bread to portray Ricky Bobby from the movie “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.”
Cunningham, an automotive technician manager major, was representing Team Sycamore Racing, the National Hot Rod Association drag racing team at ISU.
He agreed with Cottom and said plunging wasn’t that bad and would do it again.
“The coldest part was getting out,” Cunningham said.
There was only one word Debbie Wilson and her two daughters Laura Blue and Lacy Downham could use to describe the experience: numb.
“Oh my gosh, it’s a lot colder than you can imagine,” said Blue, 34, of Montgomery.
Aside from her daughters, Wilson, 50, of Montgomery, also plunged with her husband and son-in-law.
“It was a good cause and we were excited to be able to help out with Special Olympics,” Blue said about why they plunged. “Plus, we just wanted to do something different.”
Wilson added, “It was something fun to do as a family.”
Downham, 23, of Montgomery is a senior at Butler University majoring in special education, which made the event more meaningful to her, she said.
“It’s important to give everybody an opportunity, no matter what their disability is,” she said about why the Special Olympics are important.
Blue added, “They deserve a night to shine.”
Paula Meyer, Polar Plunge committee member at ISU, said they were ecstatic with the turnout and can’t wait for next year.
“This has been wonderful,” she said. “I think everybody had a good time, and hopefully, we’ll build on the success next year.”
For more information about Special Olympics, call (317) 328-2000 or visit www.soindiana.org.
Crystal Garcia can be reached at (812) 231-4271 or email@example.com.
And the winners are:
Best Costume: Patty Cottom as a spring chicken
Company/corporation that raised the most money: Dever Distributing, $800
Team/group that raised the most money: Arc of Vigo County, $830
Fraternity/sorority that raised the most money: Alpha Sigma Alpha, $1,055
Individual who raised the most money: Bill Mercier, ISU director of public safety, $575
Grand total of money raised: $8,934.47
Total plungers: 52
TERRE HAUTE — Fifty-two people took the plunge Saturday at Hulman Center — the Polar Plunge, that is.
- Local & Bistate
Purdue shooting leaves one person dead
A Purdue University engineering student opened fire inside a basement classroom Tuesday, killing a teaching assistant and prompting officials to put the campus on lockdown, police and the university said.
Inmates part of new Legion post
Wearing khaki-colored matching uniforms, more than 20 veterans inside a maximum-security prison stood tall to salute the flag of the United States at an event that welcomed them as new American Legion members.
THS grad Miller among students in adjacent building when shooting occurs
Kris Miller and his roommate were in a computer lab of Purdue’s mechanical engineering building Tuesday when they received a call that a shooting had occurred next door.
Bosma moves gay marriage ban bill to friendlier committee
Republican House of Representatives Speaker Brian Bosma sent a bill that proposes a constitutional ban on gay marriage to a more conservative-leaning legislature committee Tuesday, because it lacked support on the first committee to which it was assigned.
We enter the deep freeze again
If you had to step outside to get your newspaper this morning, you might have noticed it’s painfully cold once again.
Levy redirects school funds
If the new “protected levy” legislation goes into effect later this year, it would mean “a substantial reduction” in revenue for Vigo County School Corp. bus transportation, capital projects and bus replacement funds, according to the district’s chief financial officer.
School debt levy redirects funds across Indiana
School officials and state legislators from around the state are searching for ways to keep the school buses running — and children safe on the streets — pending the loss of millions of dollars for school transportation.
More than 50 school districts in Indiana stand to lose at least 20 percent of their revenues for transportation, new buses and other big-ticket projects under a new law that requires them to first pay off their debts.
VIDEO: Sen. Donnelly updates T-S editorial board
Passage of a long overdue U.S. farm bill could be completed by the end of this month, Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., said Tuesday.
Vigo coroner tries again for salary increase
After being denied last year, Vigo County Coroner Dr. Susan Amos is again seeking to have her county salary increased to match that of several other county office holders.
Putnam deputy released; April trial set
A Putnam County Sheriff’s deputy accused in federal criminal cases of excessive force against suspects in four arrests has been released to pre-trial supervision.
Parent group hoping to keep day care open
When Grace Finley takes her 4-year-old son to The Woods Day Care/Pre-School, she is reassured knowing that he’s receiving quality care, he’s safe and he’s loved. So when she, and other parents, learned Wednesday that the nationally accredited program is scheduled to close June 6, they were stunned by the news.
SCORE gets new home base
The Greater Wabash Valley SCORE Chapter 661 has moved to the former Indiana State Police Post building at the southwest corner of U.S. 41 and Jessica Drive on the Ivy Tech Community College-Wabash Valley campus.
Mayor Bennett drops veto threat over financial consultant
Mayor Duke Bennett has dropped a threat to use his veto power in the matter of the Terre Haute City Council seeking to hire its own financial consultant.
Gas leak closes city streets
A natural gas leak caused the temporary evacuation of three homes in Terre Haute on Thursday morning.
Police records provide details into arrests in case
Police records provide more details of four arrests that are at the center of federal civil rights abuse allegations against a Putnam County sheriff’s deputy.
Law firm to provide free cab rides home from St. Pat’s Day celebrations
Terre Haute law firm Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin encourages St. Patrick’s Day revelers to make smart decisions for this year’s festivities. The firm will offer free cab rides to adults who have had one too many drinks on March 15 and 17.
Pence signs military relief fund changes into law
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Mike Pence has signed into law a measure allowing more of Indiana’s veterans and their families access to a fund that helps them pay for food, housing and other expenses.
Vigo County Jail Log: March 13, 2014
The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Wednesday and Thursday, based on jail records.
Vectren repairs natural gas leak near 16th and Crawford
A natural gas leak caused the temporary evacuation of three homes in Terre Haute earlier today.
New lawsuit challenges Indiana gay marriage ban
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriages faces a new challenge in a lawsuit filed by a national gay rights group.
Sentencing overhaul passes Indiana Legislature
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A sweeping overhaul of Indiana’s criminal sentencing law is on its way to Gov. Mike Pence for final approval.
Putnam deputy released from jail, awaits trial on federal charges
Terry Joe “T.J.” Smith, the Putnam County Sheriff’s deputy who has been indicted by a federal grand jury on allegations of deprivation of civil rights in his police duties, has been released from jail as he awaits trial.
Indiana lawmakers eyeing roads, preschool deals
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Votes on deals to spend heavily on new road construction and a preschool pilot program are expected to dominate the final day of this year’s legislative session in Indiana on Thursday, March 13.
MARK BENNETT: First BaconFest sure to cure your salty fried meat cravings
Bacon taught me a life lesson.
I wrapped strips of it around chicken livers and secured the cold, gooey bundles with toothpicks to earn money.
New rules may keep moped riders on road
Rep. Dave Wolkins could oppose moped regulations for only so long, as more bikes zipped along the roads and were involved in an increasing number of accidents.
Nearly half of Indiana students get meal aid
Nearly 50 percent of Indiana public school students receive free or reduced-cost meals through the federal school-lunch program.
Hearing date set for Dugger charter school
The Indiana Charter School Board is scheduled to conduct a public hearing on April 8 related to a proposed charter school for the Dugger-Union Community School Corp.
Sullivan County ambulance overturns on Interstate 70
Two Sullivan County emergency medical technicians were treated and released from Terre Haute Regional Hospital after their ambulance rolled over in the median of Interstate 70, about 1 mile east of the Indiana 46 exit on Wednesday afternoon.
New trustee appointed to Indiana State board
Kathleen G. Cabello, president and co-founder of Cabello Associates Inc., has been appointed by Gov. Mike Pence to serve on the Indiana State University Board of Trustees.
Car from home invasion recovered
A stolen vehicle believed to have been used by suspects in a March 4 home invasion has been recovered.
- More Local & Bistate Headlines
- Purdue shooting leaves one person dead