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NR schools raise $4,500 for Special Olympics

In an effort to raise $3,500 for Special Olympics Wisconsin, New Richmond schools blew their goal out of the water - raising more than $4,500 instead.

The motivation behind the fundraiser, other than raising money for a good cause, was to see the five building principals - Jeff Moberg, Doug Hatch, Mike Ballard, Andy Hoeppner and Frank Norton, Superintendant Morrie Veilleux and Special Services Director Sue Curtis jump in a frozen lake as part of the 2012 Eau Claire Polar Plunge that took place on Feb. 26. The administrators agreed to participate if students could raise $3,500.

Anthony Hartung, special services teacher at Paperjack Elementary, and Cassie Plante, special services teacher at Starr Elementary, started the New Richmond team and when they heard about the "Toss Your Boss" campaign, Hartung approached the school officials who all agreed to take the plunge if the $3,500 goal was met.

Students were able to pick their respective principals' outfit. Those outfits included various wrestling singlets, a pink tutu, a grass skirt and hair curlers.

While all money raised for the Eau Claire Polar Plunge will be going to Special Olympics Wisconsin, Hartung said a large portion will be coming back to help fund the newly established local Special Olympics team.

Here are a couple reactions to the plunge:

Morrie Veilleux, district administrator: "I think the anticipation of what it might be like, was worse than actually jumping in. But it WAS cold that's for sure. In the end it was very invigorating and fun participating with my colleagues and it was for a great cause! I probably will or would (do it again) given the opportunity again!"

Doug Hatch, principal of New Richmond Middle School: "It was a great experience. To see so many people, over 1,200 jumpers, doing something together for a great cause. It was a lot of fun and to see Norton and Hoeppner in their costumes was something that I won't soon forget! Thanks to the MS students and staff for their great support!"

Mike Ballard, principal of Paperjack Elementary: "We had a really good time. There was a lot of positive energy during the entire event as everyone present was either volunteering, participating or otherwise there to lend support to a great cause. I was really proud of our local New Richmond staff as they put a lot of time and energy into the event. It was also really nice to see the local community show so much support. Aside from raising quite a bit of money, we had a lot of families drive all the way to Eau Claire. It was a lot of fun for everyone."

Jackie Grumish
Jackie Grumish has been a reporter with the New Richmond News since 2008. She holds degrees in journalism and fine art from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Before coming to New Richmond, Jackie worked as the city government reporter at a daily newspaper in Aberdeen, S.D. 
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