Stratton Mountain Welcomes Special Olympics Vermont Penguin Plunge
By Liza Reed
Special Olympics Vermont will partner with Stratton Mountain to present the 2017 Special Olympics Vermont Penguin Plunge on March 25. A popular event among the Special Olympics movement around the world, people have been freezin’ for a reason in Vermont for more than 20 years.
“We’re thrilled about holding this at Stratton Mountain,” says Lisa DeNatale, president and CEO of Special Olympics Vermont. “We have a lot of athletes and verystrong community programs in the southern part of the state and the Penguin Plunge is a really fun, invigorating, way to celebrate and support their accomplishments.”
The Penguin Plunge at Stratton Mountain will come on the heels of the mountain’s popular pond skimming event on Saturday, March 25. “Stratton Mountain has been so generous in welcoming us to share in this day,” says DeNatale. “We were looking for a venue change in order to grow participants in the event and Stratton offered us their pond. I’ve Plunged for 10 years and encourage everyone in the greater Stratton community to join the festivities.”
The Vermont Country Store has stepped up as a presenting sponsor of the event for the second year in a row. “Our employees have been Plunging and fundraising for Special Olympics Vermont for many years and we’re very proud of our partnership,” says Ann Warrell, communications manager for the Manchester-based store. “In our best year, we had 30 people on our Plunge team and raised more than $8,000 for Special Olympics Vermont. We’re working toward an even bigger turnout for 2017!”
Special Olympics Vermont is part of a global movement that works year-round to foster acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities by using the power of sport to showcase their gifts and abilities. The Penguin Plunge events in Burlington (February 4) and Stratton Mountain (March 25) raise funds that provide nine statewide competitions each year in addition to important health and leadership programs. Special Olympics Vermont currently serves 1,126 athletes with programs in all 14 Vermont counties and 64 (and growing!) Unified Champion Schools.