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            Madison College’s BPA Chapter was Freezin’ for a Reason!

            3/3/2013
            Contributed by Madison College (WI) BPA

            This year two officers from the Madison College Chapter challenged themselves to participate in the Polar Plunge – President Stacy Dayton and Vice President Emily Cauthen. 

            The Polar Plunge is a fundraiser for the Special Olympics, which involves jumping in freezing cold water.  The event took place at Alliant Energy Center’s Willow Island on Saturday, February 9, 2013.  Each plunger needs to raise $75 to register, but team “The Fearless Ladies of BPA” were hoping to raise more.

             “Special Olympics is such a great organization so we wanted to make sure we did our part and raised more than the minimum $75 per person,” says Vice President Emily Cauthen.

            The two “Fearless Ladies” set out to raise money for this good cause.  One avenue for raising funds was asking Madison College’s business instructors.  What they weren’t expecting was this e-mail response from Tax Instructor David Peterson:

            I will pay the $75 with the following conditions:

            1. That I am also required to contribute an additional $500 in consideration of at least one of the BPA advisors doing the plunge.
            2. Photos are provided.

            The two officers were surprised and excited about this generous offer; the only question left was: Would one of their advisors join them?

            The answer, of course, is yes!  Nine year advisor Jeff Quinlan took on the challenge and the team now became “The Fearless Ladies of BPA and their Advisor.”

            On the big day the weather was a cold and windy 29°.  The team met up at Willow Island and got in line with the other plunging teams donning their costumes.  The theme for the “Fearless Ladies” was Miss America: they wore a swimsuit, tiara, and sash saying “Miss BPA”.  Their advisor was dressed as a business professional carrying a laptop case with the BPA logo and also wore a sash that said “Mr. BPA."

            Vice President Emily Cauthen, Advisor Jeff Quinlan, and President Stacy Dayton waiting in line

            While waiting in line, Vice President Emily Cauthen started having her doubts.

            “I’d never done this before and to feel the wind while standing in line was making me nervous.  I didn’t know if I could do go through with it, but I kept reminding myself that ‘this is worth it, I’m not alone and we can do this’.  I’m so happy I didn’t chicken out!”

            Then the time came to take the plunge!  The trio stood on the platform and waited for the countdown and whistle to signal the jump. 

            The Fearless Ladies of BPA and their Advisor waiting to take the plunge"The Fearless Ladies of BPA and their Advisor" waiting to take the plunge

            After the initial shock of cold water, the team made their way out of the pond and raced for a hot tub to warm their bodies before drying off and changing. 

            Advisor Jeff Quinlan and President Stacy Dayton making their way out of the pond

            “It was nice we were able to sit in a hot tub, but unfortunately we could only stay for a moment as other teams were making their way out of the cold water as well,” shares advisor Jeff Quinlan.

            Once they were back in warm clothes, they celebrated with cups of cocoa and coffee.

            “I’ve done the Polar Plunge before and this time around the weather was much colder.  I think I finally thawed out sometime around 5 p.m. the next night, but it was worth it!” says President Stacy Dayton when asked about her experience.

            The team was able to raise $860.00 for the Special Olympics.  With their efforts for fundraising and time spent at the Polar Plunge event, the team volunteered three hours total.

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