Batavia students raise more than $11,000 for Special Olympics athletes

From left are Ryan Ackermann, Matt Mackey, Jake Kennedy, Mikey Roberts and Bret Fortner.
Batavia High School Business Professionals of America students once again plunged into ice cold water and raised money for Special Olympics.

The annual Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati Polar Plunge took place Feb. 1 at Joe’s Crab Shack in Bellevue, Ky. This was the fourth year the students have organized a team and participated in the event.

“It was cold, but at least we did not have sub-zero temperatures,” said Bailey Schultz, a senior BPA member.

The cold didn’t stop 107 students, teachers and even a board of education member from jumping in the ice cold pool. While some observers thought they were crazy, the students had fun jumping as a team.

“One minute I am excited and the next I am nervous. I do not know what I will be when it is time to actually jump,” senior Dylan Lipps said.

The team took the plunge after contributing to fund-raising efforts. Each individual was asked to raise $50 or $75 depending on his or her age, and the majority of the Batavia students went above and beyond that goal.

Mikayla Moles said she used social networking and asked a lot of friends to contribute to the cause. Mikayla raised $620. Junior Megan Wiederhold raised the most with $645.

This year, the chapter raised $11,100 for the Ohio’s Special Olympics athletes. There were more than 100 teams participating and this group of high school kids came in second, ahead of corporations and law enforcement teams. They were the largest team at the event and also won the trophy for largest school or university group. In addition, Alison Taylor, a State Farm agent who has been working with the school on safe driving initiatives, joined the team and won the award for Highest Fundraising Chicken with $615.

According to their teacher and chapter advisor Angie Kovacs, the team has now raised more than $29,000 for Special Olympics over the past four years.

As business students, BPA members discuss marketing in class. In that sense, the students were asked to market Special Olympics. This gave them a chance to learn more about the organization while educating the community about the benefits at the same time.

Batavia BPA students participate in the Legal Management satellite program offered through Great Oaks Institute of Technology and Career Development. This is the seventh year for the program at Batavia High School.