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'Hypothermic Hawks' Ready to Take Polar Plunge

The team hopes to raise as much as $3,000 as it did in 2012.

On Sunday, Feb. 10, the Hypothermic Hawks of Greenfield High School will be in action in Muskego.

That’s right, the Hypothermic Hawks.

That afternoon, Greenfield School District representatives – teachers, students and administrators – will compete in the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics at Muskego County Park.

The plunging for the 12th-annual event begins at noon.

“It’s great how the high school has gotten involved,” said Paula Schwartz, a special education paraprofessional in the district and the high school’s Special Olympics agency manager.

“It’s wonderful how many students want to be a part of it.”

For Schwartz, it is her 11th time participating.

“I remember the first time I did it I thought, ‘How hard can this be, getting into some cold water,’” Schwartz said.

Each participant donates $75 to Special Olympics to take the plunge, with other fundraising activities to supplement the entry fees. A year ago, the team raised more than $3,000.

Of the total amount raised per team, 75 percent goes to Special Olympics Wisconsin; the other 25 percent stays right here in Greenfield for the local Special Olympics agency.

Schwartz said it costs nearly $4,000 a year to run the local agency, which puts on several events during the year for the athletes, pays a portion of their uniforms, pays for the state tournament entry fees, puts on a year-end banquet and more.

“We stretch out what we raise as far as we can,” Schwartz said.

So far, the team is 30 members strong, and it includes 12 students, staff members and two administrators. There is also a Junior (Hypothermic) Hawks team that includes Middle School students and staff.

A year ago, the team had 26 members. Schwartz said she will continue to recruit for this year’s team throughout the week; she said students who sign up and take get in the frigid water will be entered in a drawing for a $50 Visa gift card.

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