The brothers of the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) service fraternity recently took part in their annual Polar Plunge in Seaside Heights, N.J.
Dennis Schuck, a junior political science major and president of APO, said that the co-ed service fraternity began preparing for the plunge in mid-January. Schuck explained that each brother is required to raise a minimum of $110 in order to plunge.
Schuck also reported that APO raised $3,641 for Special Olympics New Jersey. He added that they enjoyed working with the organization because of its positive and inspiring mission.
“We are fortunate to work with the organization in its events throughout the year and truly enjoy its work,” Schuck said.
Hannah Curran, a sophomore secondary special education and history major, said that it was one of the first events she attended as a new member in the Spring 2018 semester.
Curran, who is also APO’s public relations chair, said she is passionate about the cause and didn’t feel nervous beforehand.
“The anticipation when you are waiting on the beach is so exciting – your body reacts very similar to how it would if you were nervous,” Curran said.
“Once you’re in the water, though, you’re so cold that you forget about this feeling.”
When asked why the fraternity chose to plunge to raise money, Schuck said, “Wouldn’t you want to run into the ocean in 30 degree weather? But in all seriousness, we appreciate the ‘why.’ We aren’t just participating in a service event; we are also making a difference in the community.”
Nicholas Alfano, a sophomore political science and philosophy major, said that it was his first polar plunge and it was an exciting experience.
“I thought the plunge was an interesting event to participate in,” Alfano said. “Giving back to the N.J. Special Olympics was an amazing experience, and I was glad to have the opportunity to join something so special.”
Schuck said that the brothers of APO went “above and beyond” in their fundraising efforts.
Alfano added that even his mom posted the fundraising link, because her Facebook friends had more disposable income than his Facebook friends (i.e. fellow college students) would.
As a special education major, Curran said, “I see great value in supporting organizations like Special Olympics, so I try to put emphasis on this when I ask for donations.”
Curran also said that she thinks she’ll participate in the event even after graduating because she feels that what the Special Olympics of New Jersey does for individuals is empowering.
“Every year after this event, I feel not only very cold, but a lot closer to rest of the brothers of APO,” Curran said.
“Plunging was just one of the incentive benchmarks that we reached,” Alfano said.
As for plunging again, he added, “I’ll invest in some warm footwear, then I will 100% be back next year.”
Elise Kerim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.