PLUNGE GUIDE: Unified Fundraising: Teaming Up To Raise $10,000


By Julie Oltmann

Special Olympics Maryland athlete Michael Heup has participated in the MSP Polar Bear Plunge for years – most recently as a Super Plunger. That means he not only jumps into the frigid Chesapeake Bay 24 times in 24 hours but also raises $10,000 for Special Olympics Maryland in the process. This year, he’s teamed up with friend and Special Olympics Maryland supporter David Butts to reach his goal. We sat down with Butts to talk about the partnership.

How long have you been involved with Special Olympics Maryland and the MSP Polar Bear Plunge?

I’ve been plunging since 2008, and got involved with Special Olympics Maryland during the 2014 Plunge. I’ve volunteered at Special Olympics Maryland’s Summer Games and other events, providing aerials, video, special promos and more with the company I co-own, Mid-Atlantic Aerial.

What made you decide to participate in the Super Plunge?

Michael and I have been friends since we met at the Anne Arundel County Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy. We’ve done about 12 fundraisers in the past three years and enjoy hanging out. This year, I’m assisting him with his Super Plunge fundraising. We’re a unified fundraising team! It’s great to have the chance to talk and have fun at the events we do. It’s always fun when Mike is around.

Tell us about some of your fundraising techniques.

We’ve set up tables with pictures of Mike, Special Olympics Maryland materials, a donation bucket, and fundraising cards with our information to donate online. We’ve been to the Safeway in Arnold, the 7-Eleven near Sandy Point and, new this year, the Green Valley in Arnold.

Why is it important to you that people plunge in support of Special Olympics Maryland?

The Plunge brings out so many people of all ages to jump in freezing-cold water to help a great cause. I love the energy at any Plunge you go to – whether it’s the Super Plunge, Cool Schools, Police, Corporate, or main Plunge. It’s important to raise those funds to help as many athletes as possible, to be able to provide them with the opportunity to play the sports they love and compete against other athletes around Maryland.

polar bear plunge guide


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