By SHERI GASSAWAY
Lake Saint Louis – A hearty group of UAW Local 2250 members and their families took a dive into the frigid waters of Lake Saint Louis Feb. 2 as part of the 17th Annual Polar Plunge here to benefit Special Olympics Missouri.
Local 2250, which has participated in the event each year, raised $8,000 for the organization, said David Hurst, the Local 2250 member who spearheaded fundraising for the event.
About $4,500 was raised through a gate drive at the GM Wentzville assembly plant, which employs members of UAW Local 2250. The rest was secured through private donations.
Hurst has been involved in Local 2250 Polar Plunge efforts since the beginning. He has jumped in the last seven years and played music at parties after the event prior to that. Hurst took over fundraising for the event when Bill Chancellor, the first to take the plunge on behalf of Local 2250, stepped down for health reasons.
PAY IT FORWARD
“I’ve been blessed with 41 years in the UAW, and this is a great opportunity to pay it forward,” Hurst said. “Plus, very little of the money goes to the business end of it. The majority of the money goes to help the kids.
Local 2250 President Glenn Kage, who also made the jump into the freezing waters Feb. 2, commended Hurst on his efforts.
“I want to give David a special shout out for spearheading the event and his fundraising efforts,” he said. “It means a lot to us to be able to give back to the local community.”
MOTHER/DAUGHTER ANNUAL EVENT
Local 2250 member Shara Grabenhorst and her daughter, Abigael Houlihan, were among the group of freezing jumpers to gather at the Lake Saint Louis Community Association Feb. 2. It was their first time participating in the plunge, and the two plan to make it an annual mother/daughter event.
“We both went in waist high at a speedy, rapid sprint,” Grabenhorst said. “We were freezin’ for a reason. We did it to raise money for sports training and competition for children and adults with disabilities. The smile on their faces is the best reward. If you haven’t attended, I highly recommend it.”
THE POLAR PLUNGE
The Polar Plunge is a project of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Missouri. The Lake St. Louis, O’Fallon, Wentzville and St. Charles County police departments hosted the Feb. 2 event.
Proceeds from the event benefit Special Olympics Missouri’s year-round program of sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. For more information, visit somo.org.