Since 1968 Special Olympics has fostered atmosphere of acceptance and inclusion for all people. The organization is dedicated to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. It is a difficult task and involves a great number of volunteers, to not only plan and execute programs but to provide the funding necessary for such a venture.
We all have busy schedules and have to allocate our time to accomplish the goals that are important to us. During this season there certainly are a number of events that divide our attention and call for our commitment. Public figures such as elected officials can have an additional burden of public appearances and government service to juggle with family life and private business. Allocation of time during the holidays gives a sense of priority to each task.
It would be easy for an elected State Representative such as Tim Ackert to step away from an event that just might make him a little uncomfortable. Instead Mr. Ackert stepped forward and embraced the opportunity to enter frigid water in an effort to raise funds for Special Olympics. Comfort aside it was the purpose of the Penguin Plunge event that took priority. Not only did he attend the event he added to the fun by dressing in what could only be called an adorable Hawaiian grass skirt.
In the spirit of the season, by giving of himself Mr. Ackert not only raised money for Special Olympics but added greatly to the fun of the event. The Penguin Plunge is an annual event in Coventry and the first of eight held in Connecticut during the winter season. The last Penguin Plunge for the season will be held at Crystal Lake Town Beach in Ellington on March 23, 2013.
While any good politician may have to dance around and skirt an issue it is doubtful that Mr. Ackert will hit the campaign trail anytime soon in his grass hula skirt. Thanks to smiling, fun loving, volunteers like Tim Ackert, Special Olympics is once again aided in their mission with the proceeds raised by a Penguin Plunge.