Compass Academy is a small school with big goals. The school, which serves children with a variety of language-based learning disabilities, opened in the fall of 2011 and four months later jumped feet first into the Maryland State Police (MSP) Polar Bear Plunge to benefit the Maryland Special Olympics. A group of 16 students, faculty and parents raised more than $4,732 for braving the frigid water of the Chesapeake Bay and earned them the honor of the 3rd highest pledge total for all participating private schools.
This year, the school set a goal of 20 plungers who, as a group, hoped to raise $5000. In the last month, the numbers have been steadily climbing and today, just three days before the Cool Schools Plunge, the school has exceeded both goals.
"As of earlier today we had 25 participants signed up (125% of our goal) and had raised $5001(100% of our goal). In fact, we have gone over by $1," reports Echo Reardanz of the Compass Academy Volunteer Association. "Our plungers are still collecting funds and getting their pledges recorded on the Special Olympics of Maryland web site so I am positive by Friday we will have exceeded our fund raising goal for this very worthwhile cause by even more."
UPDATE: as of noon on Wednesday (1/23/13) the Compass Academy total reached $5381 and is still climbing.
Perhaps part of the motivation for the surge in contributions is a result of the promise made science and math teacher, Gill “Gilligan” Trudell to “go all the way.” In other words, explains Reardanz, "He will completely submerge ... going all the way into and under the icy cold January Chesapeake Bay water."
This is the 4th year for the Cool Schools Polar Bear Plunge, which will be held Friday, January 25, at Sandy Point State Park, the day before the 17th Annual MSP Polar Bear Plunge. Other area private schools participating in Friday's Plunge are: Boys' Latin, Calvert Hall, Loyola Blakefield, Maryvale Preparatory School, McDonogh School, Mercy High School, Seton Keough, and Severn School.