EIU Glow Plunge raises money for the Special Olympics


Rob Le Cates

Eastern’s Special Education Department participates in in the 2022 Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge for the Special Olympics Illinois on Sunday next to the Campus Pond.

Adriana Hernandez-Santana, Campus Reporter

Eastern’s polar plunge returns this year as a glow plunge to raise money for the Special Olympics Saturday after not having the fundraiser last year due to COVID-19.

In hopes of providing funding for Eastern’s Special Olympics, Eastern organizes a polar plunge of its own at the Campus Pond typically every year. Because of COVID-19, there wasn’t a 2021 polar plunge at Eastern. However this year, it is back and many of Eastern’s students and employees joined in on the event.

Special education teacher Jennifer Buchter, talks about her students’ determination to include her in the freezing fun. 

“I’m from Las Vegas,” Buchter said. “I’m not ready for this cold. I’ve never been anywhere this cold, but I promised my students that I’d jump in with them if they raised enough money.” 

Buchter and her students’ costumes were themed around “Despicable Me,” with Buchter dressed as a minion.

University President David Glassman came out for the event to welcome and thank everyone for coming and supporting the Special Olympics.

“There’s nothing better than the special olympics,” Glassman said. 

Before the plunge, it was time for the costume contest. The singles contest winner was the men’s soccer team with two players dressed in dinosaur outfits. 

The group costume winners were the Hogs, an energetic group of guys in nothing but cropped tees and shorts. 

Following the costume contest and announcement of winners, everyone prepared to jump into the Campus Pond.

With a below-freezing temperature in Charleston on Sunday, everyone was freezing once they’d made it out of the pond.

Thanks to volunteers, both teams and individuals, the 2022 EIU Glow Plunge helped raise money for the Special Olympics.

Adriana Hernandez-Santana can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].