On January 24, 2020, American Pool Maryland braved the frigid waters of the Chesapeake Bay in support of Special Olympics Maryland with the annual Polar Bear Plunge. Each year, the Polar Bear Plunge event raises money in support of the 8,033+ athletes of Special Olympics Maryland. By participating in the plunge, the proceeds raised support and provide year-round sports and leadership programs for the athletes of Special Olympics Maryland.

American Pool Maryland saw this event as not only a great opportunity for team bonding but a great way to give back to their local community. What started out as a small idea during a company meeting, flourished into something much bigger. By gathering together to support Special Olympics Maryland, the American Pool team had the opportunity to support their local community in a big way. The team had their eyes on the prize with a fundraising goal of $10,000, but by working together, they surpassed their goal and raised a total of $12,405. 

For many of the plungers, this was their first time and when asked if they were excited to take on the plunge, the overall consensus was “absolutely”! There was even a friendly competition going on to see who could stay in the water the longest. After the team conquered the plunge, we asked them a few questions.

How was it? 

“It kinda jolts you at first, but we are doing great and we did it as a team! It was fantastic.” — Scott Small, Learning & Development Manager, American Pool Enterprises

“What made you decide to get involved?”

“The Columbia team put all of this together and we seized the opportunity to get involved, a way to contribute to our local team here. Anything over $10,000 was a win for us, we are already looking ahead to next year to think about how we can do this in a different way. Our team was here yesterday with the schools plunge and there were 73 schools here with school children that are in our range for lifeguards, so we came and we set up a tent and we talked to a lot of those kids about becoming lifeguards with American Pool.” — Scott Small, Learning & Development Manager, American Pool Enterprises

What was the best part of the day?

“Raising over $12,000 for the Special Olympics. It was one of those things where we all realized we could do it, but I don’t think we realized how much money we could actually generate just by coming together as a group.” — Chris Snyder, Executive Director of Staffing & Recruiting, American Pool Maryland

“It was absolutely great raising that amount of money, but also once we were all out there together, it was much more enjoyable to have that comradery together.” – Edwin Kent, Construction, American Pool Maryland

Would you do it again?

“Would definitely do it again, we had great participation, we had about 24 folks and next year we will look for more. The Columbia office did a great job pulling this together.” – Rick Naden, President & CEO, American Pool Enterprises

“We would definitely do it again, especially when you think about things like the kids coming with the school visit, it is definitely a great fit for us. It’s the water and we are American Pool so we are a match made, we will be back for sure next year.” — Scott Small, Learning & Development Manager, American Pool Enterprises

Check out our video from the event here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_IsaqN0H1M