SpecialtyCare Team in Minneapolis Raises Over $3K for Special Olympics By Taking the Polar Plunge

At SpecialtyCare, it’s not just our high quality services that set us apart — it’s our awesome people. We love highlighting stories of our people doing incredible things, and recently one of our teams went the extra mile to raise money for the Special Olympics…by taking a flying leap into ice water! 

The Minnesota Polar Plunge is a popular event that raises millions of dollars for the Special Olympics every year. Michelle Vrieze, Clinical Manager on the ANW IONM team in Minneapolis, invited her team — who have been with SpecialtyCare for seven years — to get involved.

“I always thought it would be a blast. Only in Minnesota do you get thousands of people to volunteer to jump into a frozen lake,” says Michelle. “A few years ago, I convinced one of my teammates, Emma Redmond, to sign up with me. We had a ball, and I think we were left with a real sense of pride having participated in such a fun event for a really great cause. Emma and I knew we wanted to convince our entire team to take the plunge together. The event got derailed for a few years because of COVID. We were more than ready to celebrate this year!”

[vc_gallery interval=”3″ images=”15733,15734,15735″ img_size=”full”]

“Our team has worked together a long time, and we all get along great. I wanted to find something that could help deepen the bond amongst each other,” says Michelle. “Going out for drinks and food is always a blast, but there is really something special that happens between a group when you participate in events like this that you can’t explain. I would say that this event helped build a huge sense of pride. Not only was it a fun event that we are still laughing about weeks later, but we are all still riding high on the feeling of participating in a great cause.” 

This is not the first time Michelle and her team have participated in community service projects. They’ve been involved with Feed My Starving Children several times, and they work in the neighborhood where the tragic events surrounding the death of George Floyd took place. They want to give back and encourage their community as often as they can. 

By taking the Polar Plunge, Michelle’s team officially raised $3,259 for the Special Olympics. In the process, they discovered that it was a way to engage with others at their hospital. “We got several surgeons, nurses, and sales representatives to donate on behalf of our team,” says Michelle. “This also generated lots of fun conversation in the OR, with nurses asking us ‘When is your jump?’ and ‘How did it go?’”

Our People Make the Difference

We’re proud of Michelle and her team and all of our other hardworking, compassionate team members who support over 1,200 hospitals around the country. Recently, some of our ECMO specialists in Florida were in the news for providing life-saving treatment for a 19-year old patient with asthma. Skills can be learned, but quality people make the biggest difference when it comes to care. If you’re ready to join us, get in touch with us today. We would love to have you on board!