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Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park Police Sergeant to take on Super Polar Plunge

Matthew Mays (far right) poses with special olympians, who he will take on the Super Polar Plunge for. Photo submitted by Matthew Mays.

After playing with a Special Olympics Pennsylvania athlete at Top Golf, Point Park’s Police Sergeant was dared to jump into icy water 99 times within a time frame of four hours and plans to complete the challenge. 


So far, Police Sergeant Mathew Mays has raised $2,745 for the Polar Plunge, a fundraiser that donates its funds raised to Special Olympics Pennsylvania. To be considered a Super Plunger, Mays had to raise a minimum of $2,500 and jump into cold water 24 times over the span of four hours.


“If it’s physically possible, based on how many people are jumping and how many pools they have set up, I’m going to go for 100 times in four hours,” Mays said.


His biggest donor so far, Wilson and Associates, had no idea that he would attempt to go into the water that many times. Trisha Wilson’s donation of $1,000 on behalf of their company pushed him over the threshold he needed to be a Super Plunger.


“We donated the money because we think it’s really a great cause; Matt used to be my neighbor so I grew up next door to [him].“ Wilson, CEO of Wilson and Associates, said. “I really think it’s awesome what these guys are doing and what Matt’s doing.”


The day of the plunge, Mays said that he’ll be wearing numerous insurance T-shirts as he dives into the icy water. Outside of fundraising money and dipping into icy water, Mays will go to physically play a hand in the olympic games.


“I go to Seven Springs to give out medals after they have their actual winter games,” Mays said. “The Polar Plunge is their big fundraiser for the year.”


Other officers in the Point Park Police Department are also raising money for the plunge. For a regular participant, they only need $50 to plunge once. Point Park Police Officer Tyler Frederick said that if an individual officer raises $50 a month they can go against department policy and either dye their hair, paint their nails or grow a beard. 


“As it currently stands [growing beards] is against our policy,” Frederick said. “For the females, to make it fair to help with breast cancer awareness it was put into policy that they could dye their hair pink or wear pink fingernail polish.”


Officers in the department are allowed to do this from a period of October to February. 


Jasmine Swaby, a junior dance major said that she sees the police presence on campus but hasn’t really interacted with the department in her time on campus. She doesn’t really see the purpose of having a police presence but reacted to Mays’ Super Plunge.


“That’s a lot of time to be jumping into water in an hour, especially at that degree,” Swaby said. “I guess that’s pretty admirable.”


Frederick is growing out his beard and participating in the plunge with Mays like he’s done in the past.


“They used to jump in the river,” Frederick said. “But now they do it at Heinz Field, just a little bit safer than jumping in the river.”


Alina Bigac, a junior business management major, also hasn’t had much interaction with Point Park’s Public Safety Department. Despite her lack of interaction with the department, she thinks it’s important to have because of the hostile environment students live in Downtown. 


She also reacted to Mays’ 100-jump Super Polar Plunge.


“Props to him, I don’t know if I saw him, if I knew him I would definitely tell him that, I think that’s incredible,” Bigac said. “That reinforces our belief in them, like oh you’re doing initiatives like that, I really respect that.”


Other police departments will also be participating in the Polar Plunge in February like Pittsburgh city police, after several months of fundraising at . All together the Point Park Police Department has raised over $3,000 so far for Pittsburgh Special Olympics.

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