County Donates to Special Olympics



A sunny and unusually warm January day at Longview Lake was the perfect setting for the annual Polar Plunge benefiting Special Olympics.

According to Adam Wright, Development Manager for Special Olympics Missouri, the event has nearly reached the 2018 goal of $290,000 with money still coming in. “A lot of friends and family wait until there is proof that their loved one actually jumped in the lake to donate.” The Plunge site will remain open for donations until April 30.

A number of Jackson County associates dove in to help raise money for Special Olympics by participating in January’s Jeans Day promotion raising $400 for the cause. The Parks + Rec Department also made a sweet donation by giving 600 boxes of Russell Stover candy that was left over from Christmas In The Park. County Executive Frank White, Jr., and Parks + Rec Director Michele Newman presented the donations January, 31.

Wright was very grateful for the donation, “It would be impossible to overstate how much the support from large businesses and organizations in our community means to our program. We serve over 15,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities across the state of Missouri, 1,800 of which live right here in the KC Metro. To adequately run our program it is imperative that we have key partnerships, such as this one with the county, in place. To put it simply, we would not be able to function as an organization or truly give the athletes the support that they deserve without the generosity of our community. That starts right here with Jackson County and their support of not only the Polar Plunge, which is by far our biggest fundraising effort of the year, but every athletic competition that we host for our athletes throughout all 365 days of the year.”

“As far as the donated candy goes,” he said, “Special Olympics Missouri will be using it for our State Indoor Games to reward the roughly 500 volunteers and 2,300 athletes, coaches and unified partners that will be working hard all weekend at that event.”

Longview Lake beach has been the sight for the Polar Plunge for the past fourteen years.


Plungers brave the icey water for Special Olympics.