By Emma Finn, Marketing & Communications Intern (middle left)
This April will mark my third year of raising money and participating in the Greek Community’s “Polar Bear Plunge” at Iowa State University. As a freshmen I knew very little about what the Polar Plunge was. I knew to an extent what Special Olympics was, but I never fully understood what I was raising the money for. That year I raised my $75 for the plunge and participated.
Then my sophomore year came around and I became friends with Katie Buscher. Katie has been a volunteer for Special Olympics Iowa for years, along with her parents Dan and Mary and sisters Lizzy and Annie. The Buscher family’s passion as advocates and volunteers for SOIA is truly inspiring. Getting to know their family better and meeting Katie’s uncle Michael who is a SOIA athlete, helped me realize more about what SOIA really was. The Buscher families’ kindness, generosity and involvement with SOIA inspired me beyond belief. That year for the plunge I raised $575.
Fall of my junior year rolled around, which is when the SOIA State Volleyball tournament is held in Ames. One of my good friends, Mallory Majors, helped run the event. Mallory had such dedication and drive when helping organize the event. She came home that day after the tournament with a smile on her face and loads of stories that stuck with me. It was then that I decided I wanted to get more involved with SOIA.
I was lucky enough to come across the Marketing and Communications Internship SOIA offered. I saw this as the perfect opportunity for me to get involved. I applied and got the internship. As the Marketing and Communications intern for SOIA I get to interview athletes and volunteers. I get to hear stories and meet amazing people. I have learned so much not only about Special Olympics, but also what it does for people with and without intellectual disabilities. The staff, volunteers and athletes are some of the most influential and amazing group of individuals I have ever met. I leave work every day inspired and motivated by all the amazing stories I hear. These athletes and families melt my heart on a daily basis. The staff is so dedicated and eager to give back in every aspect of their job, and the effort and heart they put into daily tasks is something I aspire to have.
My third year plunging means so much more to me than it ever has before. I now truly understand what I am plunging for through my knowledge of SOIA and getting to know their community. With a personal goal of raising $1,000, I cannot wait to see what Iowa State’s Greek Community is going to raise this year.
To donate to the Iowa State Greek Community Polar Plunge, go to http://www.soiowa.org/get-involved/fundraising-events/polar-plunge/ames-greek-polar-plunge/