Tag Archives: Maryland Special Olympics

Inaugural “Rock and Run” Mixes Music and 5K to Benefit Special Olympics

By Avra Sullivan

Two years ago, Cathy Barber and her husband Gregg attended a fundraising event for a friend whose child was involved with Special Olympics. Meeting the athletes and the people involved created a desire to become involved themselves, culminating into this year’s first annual Kent Island Rock and Run on June 2nd to support Maryland Special Olympics.

“Assisting with Special Olympics opened our eyes and made us so appreciative of our own children, both healthy, and wanted to give back to those whose children may not be”, says Cathy. One of the things that motivated them was the handwritten letters they received from parents of athletes taking part in the games. “It was awesome to see the impact on them; it’s an amazing organization.” Says Cathy. Both avid music lovers, and Cathy a runner, they decided to bring their love of two seemingly different things together for a good cause.

The Rock and Run will begin at 8am with a DJ getting runners pumped up. The race is a 5K and people may walk or run. Teams as well as individuals may join and strollers are also welcome for those with young children. The festivities will be based at the Chesapeake Exploration Center and the run route will follow the Kent Island Cross Island Trail. At 10:30am the music will start and feature 8 local bands Cathy contacted directly to be a part of the event. “All of the bands are really excited to be participating.” People are welcome to participate in just the race, the music festival, or both.

Backyard Billy’s is also setting up a VIP section. Tickets for this limited seating area will include all drinks and 2 meals. There will be food and drinks for purchase during the event as well as vendors.

More information including ticket prices and band schedule can be found at www.kentislandrockandrun.com or can be purchased at any Maryland Floyd’s 99 Barbershops.

AQUA’s Pooler Bear Plunge

This Saturday, AQUA Pools will host the 2012 “POOLer Bear Plunge” to benefit the Maryland Special Olympics. A minimum $50 individual or $100 family donation will afford the experience and thrill of taking a quick plunge into the invigorating waters of AQUA’s pool on December 10th. The event will feature his/her heated changing tents, a complimentary BBQ lunch, a silent auction, and lots of other fun. Plunges will be scheduled every ½ hour, and proceeds will help Tom Pyper, an Eastern Shore “Super Plunger”, reach his goal of raising a minimum of $10,000 for the athletes of the Maryland Special Olympics at the MSP Polar Bear Plunge

Saturday, 10 December, 2011
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Cost: $50

AQUA Pools & Spas, 8801 Mistletoe Drive, Easton, MD 21601

Phone: 410-822-7000

Website: www.aqua74.com/Article.aspx?ArticleId=150

Planning the Perfect Plunge!

By Sandra Zunino

When thousands of participants defy all logic and fling themselves into the icy waters of the Chesapeake for the 15th Annual Polar Bear Plunge, Rams Head Group Vice President and Rams Head Shore House owner Erin McNaboe, will go even further by Super Plunging to raise $10,000 for Maryland Special Olympics.

Three years ago, Ram’s Head Live hosted a fundraising event for the MSP Polar Bear Plunge. Erin says, as an event coordinator, she was so focused on the details of planning the event; the magnitude of its purpose didn’t hit her until she was called on stage with business partner Kyle Muehlhauser and presented a Special Olympics medal as a formal thank you.

“When it was put around my neck, I really got hooked and understood what the event was all about,” says Erin. “I got the chills and my heart overflowed.” At that moment, Erin became committed to the cause and led the Rams Head plunging team with a goal of raising $10,000.

The following year, Rams Head Live not only hosted another fundraiser, it added the Rams Head Ice Lodge – a massive tent erected at Sandy Point State Park, the site of the Plunge – offering live music and refreshments throughout the day.

Rams Head Group collaborated with food and beverage suppliers to get products donated for the tent as well as recruited volunteers who worked in the Ice Lodge. One hundred percent of the Ice Lodge proceeds were donated to Special Olympics and despite the blizzard that raged that day, raised approximately $35,000.

The Ice Lodge will return for this year’s Plunge, which takes place on January 29. Headliner, DJ Pauly D of MTV’s Jersey Shore will do two DJ sets – one pre-Plunge and one after the 3:00 p.m. Plunge.

While Erin worked in the Ice Lodge throughout the day, she was unable to plunge last year. This year she is taking it to the extreme by joining the Super Plunge Team, a group of more than 60 individuals who plan to raise $10,000 each. As a Super Plunger, Erin will sleep on a cot in a tent and jump into the frigid waters 24 times over a 24-hour period.

The Super Plunging Team started in 2004 when Tom Schniedwind and Greg Shipley of Special Olympics Maryland joined Jimmy Myrick, a Special Olympics Maryland athlete attempting to raise $30,000 for the cause. They ended up raising more $50,000 and celebrated their accomplishment by plunging 20 times through the night. Since then, the Super Plunge has raised over $1 million adding celebrity participants and many Special Olympics athletes.

Erin has already reached out to 700 people asking each for an $11 sponsorship and she is almost half way to her goal. “It’s a lot harder than I expected,” she says, “asking for money, especially in this economy, but I really believe in the program.”

With only a few weeks left, she says, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty and start knocking on doors and making phone calls, but is confident she will reach her goal. “I think the amount of positive energy and the safe environment that the Plunge and this whole program creates for the athletes is just inspiring,” says Erin. “It really takes your breath away.”

The Polar Bear Plunge raises funds for Special Olympics Maryland, the state’s largest year-round organization devoted to sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. For more information or to sponsor Erin, visit http://plunge15.kintera.org/erinbrunstmcnaboe.