MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) – The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way many organizations come together, like Special Olympics.
“It’s been very hard on our athletes because some of them don’t quite understand why they can’t be where they’re at, why they can’t hang out with their friends, why they can’t go out and do the sports that they love,” said Carla White, Special Olympics coach and executive council member of the Law Enforcement Torch Run.
It’s been a challenging time for Special Olympics athletes, coaches and volunteers.
“Hopefully soon we’ll be able to get the athletes back together,” said White. “At least to get to practicing. It’s those social skills.”
The athletes have been able to train and compete virtually, but once things get back to normal, funds are needed to keep the program running.
In March, the annual Marquette County Polar Plunge was canceled due to the pandemic but they still raised around $10,000.
“Which is short of our budget but to still get that amount of money without an event was pretty amazing,” said White.
To still have a plunge and raise more funds, a Solar Plunge will be held on Sunday, August 30th at the UP North Lodge in Gwinn.
“Everything will be outside,” said White. “We’re still going to go by CDC guidelines, whatever those are in August.”
Registration will begin at 11 AM, the plunge will be at noon followed by the After Splash Bash.
People who suppose to plunge in March are encouraged to register again and any new people can as well. More information on online registration will be available in the coming days.
Another Fundraiser in September is the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run. That will be held virtually this year September 14 – 18.
“All we ask is when you register, we’ll mail you your shirt,” said White. “You can run, you can walk, you can rollerblade, you can skate. Anything you want. Get outdoors do this run and just post on social media, wearing your shirt, showing a video of who you are supporting and why you’re helping us support Special Olympics.”
Registration in $30. For more information, click here.