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UMW News Bureau

Eight University of Montana Western students raised over $1,000 for Montana Special Olympics on President’s Day at the annual Polar Plunge in Bozeman, Mont. Plunge 2010 5Eight University of Montana Western students took an icy plunge and raised over $1,000 for Montana Special Olympics on President’s Day, Feb. 15, 2010 in Bozeman, Mont. People from across Montana come to the Bozeman Ponds each President’s Day to jump into icy water at the annual Bozeman Polar Plunge, raising funds for Montana Special Olympic athletes and programs. In January, student Nicole Yost approached the Associated Student Senate of Montana Western with the idea of having a student team make the plunge. With a goal of raising $250, the students headed for Bozeman to raise money for those in need while building new friendships with other students. “It’s a really good thing to raise awareness for Special Olympics,” Yost said. Dana Christensen, Ashley Jammaron, Anthony Harris, Jamie Jacobson, Elida Craven, Renae Counter and Sarah Bramberger joined Yost in the jump. Through their fundraising efforts, the team blew their $250 goal out of the water by raising $1,055. This President’s Day plunge proved to be polar, indeed. “They had to cut out a section of the pond for us to jump in,” plunger Dana Christensen said. Thanks to an on-site hot tub next to the ponds, the students said they did not notice the cold so much. Montana Western’s team was one of many participating, including Montana State University basketball and football teams and the Bozeman Police Department. The 2010 Bozeman Polar Plunge raised over $30,000 for Montana Special Olympics. Yost and Christensen said they would like to see this event grow and are hoping to get more students to join the team each year. “It’s a good experience for people to do things for other people who need it more than we do,” Yost said.