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W&J Student-Athletes and Staff Take Polar Plunge For Special Olympics
WASHINGTON, Pa. -- Four Washington & Jefferson College student-athletes and Head Volleyball Coach Fred Wallace all recently participated in the 2nd Annual Pittsburgh Polar Plunge in the Allegheny River outside Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
The W&J group was a part of the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Student-Athlete Advisory Committee's (SAAC) mission to raise money for Special Olympics. With sunny skies and the water temperature around 40 degrees, the 31 members of the PAC SAAC group took the dip into the frigid Allegheny River at around 1:00 pm. They combined to raise over $2,500 for the Pennsylvania Special Olympics.
Joining Wallace, who also serves as the advisor for the W&J SAAC, was junior women's soccer player Hannah Shaner (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth-Forward) and freshmen swimmers Emily Cullen (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights), Jessica Sweitzer (Laurel, Md./Seton Keough) and Anthony Picozzi (Collegeville, Pa./Methacton). Shaner is the President of the PAC SAAC.
This is the first time the PAC SAAC has participated in the Pittsburgh Polar Plunge. The new conference-wide initiative followed the announcement at the 2011 NCAA Convention of a new national partnership between the NCAA Division III National SAAC and the Special Olympics. As a result of the national program, the PAC SAAC decided to support a local conference-wide initiative to support the new national partnership.
The mission of Special Olympics PA is to provide year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community. For more information about Special Olympics Pennsylvania, please visit http://www.specialolympicspa.org.