It was a gorgeous day on Saturday: sunny, blue skies and a cool 35 degrees Fahrenheit—a perfect day for skiing, ice skating or other winter sports. However, for the MBAA Service Association and many others in the Champaign-Urbana community, it was also a perfect day to jump in a lake. The Polar Plunge takes place annually in Mahomet, IL and raises money for the Illinois Special Olympics. The MBAA Service Association saw this as the perfect opportunity to give back to the community, while building camaraderie among the MBA cohort.
Sixteen members of the Service Association decided to take the plunge this weekend, with many more MBAs waiting on the sidelines, cheering them on. Out of the 65 teams participating in the plunge, the Service Association came in 3rd place, raising more than $2,500 for the Illinois Special Olympics. According to the Special Olympics website, over 400 people participated in the plunge this weekend, raising more than $60,000 for the cause!
Hari Krishna Rao, a second-year MBA student, participated in the Polar Plunge for the second year a row. When asked why he partook in this event, he said, “Having been an athlete all through high school and working out has helped me in many ways, offering me the potential for a more wholesome life. It would only be fair to allow everyone the same chance and the Special Olympics reaches those who might not have had the opportunity otherwise. I'm all for freezin' for a reason!"
Each team is encouraged to dress up in costumes for the event and the team with the best costume also wins a prize. The MBAA Service Association decided to show Illini pride by wearing Illinois shirts and painting their chests in school colors. Seeing all of the teams in costumes, all ages participating in the plunge, is such a great experience, even if you aren’t jumping into the water.
The members of the Illinois MBA want to make sure that we leave the Champaign-Urbana community better than we found it when we arrived here—partaking in the Polar Plunge is one of the many ways we can make a difference while having fun and bonding with our classmates. I look forward to next year as everyone loves “freezin’ for a reason”!