Pulaski High School senior Kaitlyn Reynolds coordinated the school’s participation in the Polar Plunge and helped raise more than $1,600 for the Special Olympics of New York and the Oswego County Olympiad.
Reynolds has always had a passion for helping students with disabilities and wanted to use her senior project as an opportunity to make a difference after forming a friendship with elementary student Blake Hutchinson.
“I met Blake at a basketball game and he really drew my attention,” said Reynolds. “He’s a really good friend now.”
Reynolds first coordinated highly-successful student vs. faculty dodgeball tournament as a way to raise funds. But looking to do more, Reynolds came up with a fundraising idea that included special involvement by faculty members. The more money raised meant more faculty members had to participate in the local Polar Plunge.
“We ended up getting more faculty than I thought we would,” said Reynolds. “We were even able to get Superintendent Jennings thanks to a last second push.”
Reynolds, who also participated in the Polar Plunge, said the event was worth the frigid temperatures.
“It was a freezing experience that warmed my heart. I was the best thing I’ve ever done,” she said.
Teacher Jill Truax, who advised Reynolds throughout the fundraising process, said she is proud Reynolds for not only raising the funds, but for doing it for the right reasons.
“Some students just do these projects to do it. Kaitlyn did it because it means a lot to her.” said Truax. “I admire her perseverance throughout this process.”