BLACKSBURG, Va. – It takes hundreds of people to make the annual New River Polar Plunge a success each year, and a number of fraternities and sororities from local colleges and universities are a key part of that success.
One fraternity that is passionate about the New River Polar Plunge and Special Olympics Virginia is Phi Sigma Kappa at Virginia Tech. The fraternity has participated in the Polar Plunge since it started 11 years ago.
"I feel like with something like this, especially when you express how important it is to us and how interactive we are with this group down here in Area 9, people are way more willing to donate their money towards that," said Quin Lavey, Internal Philanthropy Chair for Phi Sigma Kappa.
The fraternity has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the Polar Plunge and Special Olympics Virginia, and aims to raise more than $19,000 for this year's Polar Plunge and about $55,000 total throughout the year for Special Olympics. The fraternity holds a variety of events, including a philanthropy week, March bracket challenge and annual golf tournament to raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics.
Fraternity members also volunteer with the organization through Unified Sports teams of basketball, bowling, swimming and dance.
"I grew up playing sports and being lucky enough and able enough that I could do that throughout my childhood so it's kind of cool to be able to give back and help with making sure that everyone of different backgrounds gets the opportunity to compete," said Kevin Miller, Internal Philanthropy Chair for Phi Sigma Kappa.
Lavey and Miller said their philanthropy week is a great way to get all of Hokie nation involved with Special Olympics.
"It's definitely a cause worth donating towards just due to all of the connections people get to make and all of the opportunities it provides for the athletes who might not have been able to play these sports when they were younger," Lavey said. "Being able to provide them with that now is definitely something worth giving your money towards."
This year’s New River Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics takes place Saturday, February 22 at Bisset Park in Radford. To sign up or donate, click here.