A team of district staff will soon be taking a plunge to support Special Olympics athletes.
The Shawnee Mission West Vikings team of Special Education teachers and paraprofessionals, joined by Dr. Michelle Hubbard, SMSD superintendent, and Sherry Dumolien, director of special education, are ready to take a plunge to support Kansas Special Olympics and Unified Sports.
This Saturday, March 5, 2022, the Vikings team led by Meredith Marlier, and members Erin Klehm, Sta’Nisha Hersey, Dan Robbins, and Amy Mesa, will participate in the Special Olympics Polar Plunge.
This year marked the first year that Unified Sports athletes compete in every Shawnee Mission high school. This was accomplished in partnership with the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) and Special Olympics Kansas. Unified Bowling brings students who have disabilities to play alongside students who do not have disabilities. This year, Unified Bowling athletes competed in their first KSHSAA state championship.
The Polar Plunge is an annual event taking place throughout the state of Kansas to raise money for Special Olympics Kansas. “This ‘unbearable’ event is a unique opportunity to show bravery while supporting local Special Olympics athletes by jumping into the frigid waters of Kansas pools or lakes to support Special Olympics athletes,” as stated on the Polar Plunge website.
"I appreciate the invitation from the Shawnee Mission West team to support a cause that is going to help students across our district," Hubbard expressed. Hubbard has previously served as a special education teacher and Special Olympics coach.
Every dollar earned helps to keep more than 4,500 Kansas athletes with intellectual disabilities on the playing field throughout the year.
“I am happy to join the SM West team to raise awareness and support this program,” Dumolien shared. “We have many students, staff, and families who are actively involved with Special Olympics.”
Individuals prepare for the event by fundraising during the weeks leading up to the big plunge! Donations will achieve great things for the athletes of Special Olympics Kansas.
Secure on-line donations can be made to the following sites:
Dr. Michelle Hubbard On-line Donations
Sherry Dumolien On-line Donations
SM West Vikings On-line Donations
Additional Plunge and donation information can be found on the Polar Plunge website