Mercyhurst students will participate in the Pennsylvania Special Olympics Polar Bear Plunge on Presque Isle in order to raise money and bring awareness to the organization.
Participants will jump into Lake Erie on Presque Isle Beach 7 on Saturday, Nov. 21, after raising at least $50 towards the cause as well as funding for the event.
This year, Mercyhurst Student Government has created a Mercyhurst University Polar Bear Plunge team.
Out of more than 30 groups across Pennsylvania participating in the event, the Mercyhurst team is currently in first place for money raised, with over $1,300 raised as of Tuesday, Nov. 10.
They are also ranked highest in terms of number of participants on the team, with 21 members.
“We want to keep encouraging people to register and donate,” Sam Lioi, junior business intelligence and political science student and member of the planning committee for the event, said.
Sophomore Lindsay Rowe serves alongside Lioi on the planning committee for this event.
Senior Sophia Damasceno, Marketing and Management major and member of MSG, said she cannot wait for the event.
“I am ecstatic that the polar plunge is coming to Erie but I’m even more excited to see the Mercyhurst community come together to support such a great cause,” said Damasceno. “I am really looking forward to plunging alongside fellow Lakers.”
Along with MSG, Mercyhurst athletic teams are also raising money and forming groups for the cause, with the help of the Athletic Department.
Those who wish to support the cause but are “too chicken” to take the plunge, there is a separate group of teams/participants who can participate in the fundraising event without taking a leap into the cold lake. Along with the main plunging event, there will be live music, free food, and other activities throughout the afternoon.
MSG will present awards to students who raise the most donations, including the “Golden Plunger” award, which will go to the student who raises the most money through donations and pledges.
“It’s a really good cause,” said Lioi. “We want to show our Mercyhurst pride by helping these kids out. They deserve it.”
Registration for the event will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21, and the plunge will take place at noon. Transportation to Presque Isle will be provided for Mercyhurst students who need it.