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LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Kwik Trip marketing manager, Gary Gonczy, will again take the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Wisconsin Saturday, March 7, by jumping into cold water, and his goal is to raise twice as much as he did last year, according to a report by WhoWon.com.
Gonczy's goal this year is to personally raise $10,000. Last year, he raised over $5,000. This will be Gonczy’s 11th Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Wisconsin.
"My wife timed me one time, and from the time my foot hit the water to when I got out, it was only 10 seconds," Gonczy said. "One year, it was about 70 degrees and the coldest was a wind chill of 19 below. I think the water felt colder when it was 70 degrees out."
The Polar Plunge takes place in 10 different locations in Wisconsin. It started 11 years ago and Gonczy was part of the initial committee to set up the annual event. Since then, the Polar Plunge has helped raise over $6 million for Special Olympics Wisconsin.
"I have always had a soft spot in my heart for people with disabilities," Gonczy stated. "My wife and I got involved by volunteering at the summer games in Stevens Point. It was great to watch these special athletes try so hard. Even though they may not win, they go away with the satisfaction that they did their best, and that is what is important."
To make a pledge and help Gonczy reach his goal, visit www.specialolympicswisconsin.org, or you can mail a check made out to "Special Olympics Wisconsin" c/o Gary Gonczy, 424 11th Ave. S, Onalaska, WI 54650. Gonczy requests pledges be sent prior to his March 7 plunge.
Besides Gonczy, many Kwik Trip employees from around the state have been involved. Gonczy told WhoWon.com an average of 30-50 employees participate at each location. One year, nearly 100 employees took the Eau Claire plunge.
Kwik Trip Stores is a premier partner to Special Olympics Wisconsin, a statewide organization providing persons with cognitive disabilities year-round sports training and competition. Individuals who are at least 8 years old and are identified as having cognitive disability are eligible for participation. The organization has seven area offices throughout Wisconsin and serves nearly 10,000 athletes in 220 communities statewide.