Editor’s note: This post has been updated as of March 12 amid growing concern of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Dream House Raffle
The first early-bird deadline for the annual Dream House Raffle is March 13. In addition to the grand prize drawing, tickets purchased prior to the deadline will be entered for a chance to win a Tesla Model S plus $20,000 bonus cash or a $100,000 cash prize (winner’s choice). The grand prize drawing will take place June 7 at Summer Games. Learn more at socalraffle.com.
Big Bear Polar Plunge
The Big Bear Polar Plunge brought out plenty of familiar faces—and the same great energy and fun costumes—this past Saturday at Big Bear Lake. The event raised more than $72,750.
After missing the Polar Plunge last year, volunteer photographer and retired California Highway Patrol Officer Chris Blondon made it a point to return. On Plunge day, sometimes he even dons a dry suit and gets into the water to capture the looks on the faces as the plungers hit the water!
Aside from the event itself, he enjoys reuniting with the athletes he’s formed relationships with over the years. Among them is Western San Bernardino’s Brett Laza, who he got to know better after 16 days of travel prior to the 2015 World Games.
“I wanted to come down here for the athletes,” said Blondon, who has been involved since 2002 and traveled from Idaho to make it to this year’s event.
“The friendships with the athletes (brings me back).”
Among those who enjoyed the festivities was the Bath Rugby Overseas Supporters Club International, which featured plungers Nathan Clanney, Jeff LeBlanc and Evan Wollen. The club came from Rancho Cucamonga to attend.
“Why not?” the team said when asked what attracted them to the event. “Raise some money for charity, some male bonding, a little bit of fun and prove you can do it.”
Santa Barbara Plunge
Next up will be Santa Barbara’s turn as plungers swarm to Leadbetter Beach on Sunday, July 12 to help raise funds for Special Olympics Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
Postponements & Cancellations
The Guardian Bowl flag football fundraiser scheduled for March 14 has been postponed. The new date is November 22, 2020.
SOSC has canceled all sports trainings/practices, coach trainings, competitions, and co-hosted school activities through June 7 and all fundraising events through May 10. Read the full, official SOSC release here:
Inside the SOSC is a blog managed by staff member Tracy McDannald. Fellow staff member Leslie Sundal contributed to this report. It is a more feature-style approach to looking inside what makes Special Olympics Southern California so unique, so special. It is meant to explore the people and their stories. One word at a time.