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SOOR Polar Plunge 021917

Feb 21, 2017|

AN INTERVIEW WITH TOMMY KAIN, VP OF NORTH AMERICA SPORTS MARKETING WITH NIKE, BOARD CHAIR FOR SPECIAL OLYMPICS OREGON, AND A POLAR PLUNGER, AND SGT. GWEN JOHNS WITH THE NEWBERG/DUNDEE POLICE DEPT., VOLUNTEER WITH SOOR AND CHAIR OF THE LAW ENFORCEMENT TORCH RUN EXECUTIVE COUNCIL, ABOUT WHAT THE SPECIAL OLYMPICS OREGON IS AND HOW THEY RAISE FUNDS WITH THE POLAR PLUNGE.

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This isn't microscope and Entercom radio Portland public affairs program I'm Gary blocks of an issue listen to the show you might be nice and warm and cozy house. But maybe you need to shocked your system a little bit Jumbo and of the Columbia River. Do the polar plunge for Special Olympics are again those are gonna talk about today on the shelf. On the show this time I'd like to welcome Tommy came that Tommy is vice president of North America sports marketing for Nike. Board chair for Special Olympics organ of polar plunge super plunger and probably most importantly father Jack. It was also like to welcome sergeant Glynn Johns with the Newburgh Dundee police department. Quinn is a ball into a Special Olympics Oregon and share of the law enforcement torch run executive council what new show guys. Good morning. So Tommy can start with you until you're about your involvement with Special Olympics Oregon. Well I go racing in. My feeling I've been involved with Special Olympics are over ten years now we we came into estimate laid many families do. My son Jack. Some. Intellectual disabilities and we are looking for a place where you could share in the family leveled sport. And obviously. Special because it was early that we as a family baited. Kind of aren't saying ever spent so yes ten years in county. That's really great to get the whole family involved. Well it's it's then it's been awful I think Jack spends a lot of the younger years. Going through its siblings sporting events and as soon as. It simply had the first chance this to come to his ability ultimately at work teacher says we're would jacked. So. We cheered him on for did stay at the games back here at Nike does take years ago. OK so would put down. How does Jack participate what is what what is he an athlete and. Heatley played everything comes soccer trying to attract key step in the east games they think currently he's a student at transitions program had poor state university and we just we did about what you would abide. Sports basketball tournament in 4 escrow the Pacific University are Saturday it was great. My whole clip he's really bolt yeah well. That's pretty fantastic. So Jolie a little bit about the Special Olympics and a Special Olympics oriented that happens throughout the state right. Yes it does I think down you know many people familiar with Special Olympics and it's. You know I would assume that they CS says the organization that provides year round sports. Training and opportunities to people with intellectual disabilities and it's primarily a mile exports and summer games winter games X that are ahead. You know that that is who yards and I and the benefits that are. Our our pretty great we allowed those Serb dozen individuals. To develop physically. To demonstrate courage and probably most important legal card that so why don't call our event competitions they're more. Celebrations and the this year joy of that participating in sports so. Yeah I think that's the part most people know the parts to date may not know is that. Yes sets you mentioned were all over the state our summer's big games as teams from each and every county. And then we we deal would athletes from a wide age Specter himself. They mentioned we bring Q did young into these games here at Nike and then I'll leave god athletes there's been no. Bowling and playing Bob sheets will spur a couple decades so it's it's a pretty broad. Base of programming but. In the end it's all about that that joy in that. That wonderful experience for me actually crosses the line I think what can attest to it that. What an athlete comes across one of those finish slightly gives you there's there's not how much better feeling. That that I've ever experience especially transport. Oh. Yeah absolutely and law enforcement we get these special honor panning out the ribbons and medals at. Their games and it's absolutely amazing scene and we get felt so honored to be out there and do that. Days as special memories for me is. You know as most would think the medals first second. Third place Thursday it are the big deal. But we had a young athlete who she was more excited for her friends. And getting her medals than she was her her own and this scene that was it was just really need for yet another time to where. One and athletes supplier is hurting how one of these metals can I just get a read them. So. They're at their excitement. And they're joy of just being out there with their friends and competing and being a part of as the celebration and it's just amazing. Quinn tell me how did you first get involved with Special Olympics were in. Well. I was the Bradley lost that surge and one of my sergeants I needs to go out to one of the day. Put it needs in McMahon bill. And later they do the annual torture iron to celebrate summer games. And Special Olympics is one of those things that once you do it you're hurt and your skin. So I've been involved with LE TR and Special Olympics since 1995. And gosh I can't even count how many. Gave it or competition and that I spend to pay go and hand out medals than men watched them. In their game. Two pension fund raising men tend to get the word out there as much as we can about Special Olympics. Can I ask can I comment on the fundraising that quit the team do for special if they lose. It's just it's phenomenal and I can say this that we wouldn't function as an organization without the support of Oregon law enforcement so. Over 600000 dollars a year come in from. From Gwen and her team and an extended team and you know I'd tell you that that's a lot of activities which he described that are very public facing. But there as much as it is done when nobody's watching and no fanfare so we are. Greatly in debt since she and her team and and be honored for their support it's it's really you know the basis of although our yearly fundraising. The law enforcement torch run is a way to raise money for Special Olympics is a correct. I mean it is so their it. And as that term law enforcement torch run began in 1981. And as chief Richard the onion in Wichita Kansas had this. Idea. Wanted to support that please send. Be out there. Raise awareness and raise some money is that he got together a small group of officers and they did what they called the law enforcement torch run. And then that it just really grown into more of a movement so. No we area year round. And we do much more than fund raising it's the outbreak athlete encouragement with handing out medals. Coming and supporting them. After that and then the public awareness. So LE TR is active in all fifty states and more than thirty foreign countries. And just in the word and we got 15100 law enforcement personnel who volunteer their time. Many year old worked graveyard get off. They do something like the polar plunge or. Work that they shift and then spent their evenings. Volunteering that it hit a cop so. It's federal military state county him and local. One person around the state didn't active and involved in this. What a fantastic thing as it's law enforcement people don't do enough already do I would agree it. That is really fantastic don't tell me about the torch when that happens in the summertime correct. It does it feel weak grade before our summer games. And we've got lake surrounding the entire state of Oregon. That occurred each day's. Leading up to the final. Did. Gains. So we kind of restart it played in different area is and the idea is that the final laid will be. That day of summer team. How much money did you raise last year. Oregon Nellie Kerry raised 633000. Dollars last year. You yeah yeah how did it but cod has. Planes poll. Seahawks raffles teachers salesman by far the largest is the polar plunge. That is a huge. Congratulations. Yeah let's do it and until the law enforcement torch run that's just one way that's if money is raised special Olympic soaring in in the next big thing that's coming up. It's coming up on Saturday right it's the oh Portland's. Product yet. So Tommy are you be doing that. The other in this is probably my. I think my 66 pardons but we've done seven or eight of the family which means one or family members who participated so but this is my personally six. So tell me all about the polar plunge what what happens what is this all about. I like to describe it as the party would do little bit in the middle. Dip in the cold water that is. Yeah it's a great event it's our single largest peer to peer fundraising event for Special Olympics it's great it's quite mentioned. Before as an awareness vehicles well. We recruit individuals we greet the crew teams. There's some competition and probably some collaboration involved then it's and then there's this crazy group of people that do this thing we call the super punch which. They start on Friday at noon the day before everybody else gets there we start punching power by our. All of all of in in a good works to raise money for Special Olympics it's a lot of fun but you still chilly by the end of this. So it's it's a wonderful thing and at this bank are presenting sponsor Fred Myers they do a great job both promoting the event and supporting it and and yeah it's it's a great way to get people involved with the movement to good media haven't had a an introduction to one of our specific athlete events but. Yeah we're gonna have some fun and hopefully the weather is like it is today. Thank you Leo so do. And so that are you took me a super plunger you jump in the water 24 different times real candidate Chris and Tony four hours yes that is correct. Well I like it good idea in August what you thought I think why is Dave wouldn't quite be a polar plunges you wouldn't know sound so what's that like. Me. You know it's it's fraud it's it's so little community inside the is the broader polar punch community and those little bit of crazy people did crazy people that we've got everything from. Dedicated Stafford it's special book store and two. Sponsors. People who have been close to the movement for years it's parents. Special olympians and a bit above fifty years. If you longtime volunteers coaches it's a good cross section of the the Special Olympics family and indigo one thing in common they're crazy and a few to stick together. A speech on the Columbia for 24 hours in jump in and out of the water I won't comment that. Glenn steam the dive teams support just sitting there in the water every time were in the water and so it's you know it's it's a good time invite people come out cheers are even before they had before Saturday we could ease the encouragement. Cindy get in nap in there any time. Yes it's. You catch yourself mapping you might miss one of the plunges so you gotta be careful you gotta go the buddy system on out if you get a ticket that's somebody's got to be ready to pokey security. For them explode. How many super plunges are there and then to also tell me how many polar plunge people there are. I'm not it has the total figure for this year. But I can tell you are up for these for the entire plunged this school work in progress hopefully it's growing as we speak. But the super project I think we're hovered around sixteen to eighteen. And I expect that even included super special begins. Themselves to partnering with members of Quinn's team. In raising money for. For their participation in the super punch. So some of the athletes do plunge in raise money. They do they do some on the dangers some of the super close this is the first. You're I think that that the athletes is that part of the super Argentine so it's gonna be far. If somebody listening wanted to get involved with the Portland totally do that. Well. You can sign up their house. So you can come on out to. The speech on the Columbia. And and trying to there's a walkout. But otherwise I'm sure if you go to the Special Olympics organ page. Tight end information is readily available. You can also go to all of our stations radio stations your column we have on our on our front pages there we have information about how you can get involved. Pretty crazy news go to any one of these stations web sites and and give him O'Malley. Well we appreciate the support thank you and not only is this Portland but yeah I'm actually. This. Polar plunge began with the A officer from then it. Who heard about this since mother's states and she brought it to Oregon. So. Then it just had their polar plunge probably a little colder than a little bit he. That February 11 was PG and then it and then. Medford and Corvallis we'll have a plunged February 18 and Portland is February 25. We actually do fight across this state. That's pretty great. At least to me is Portland just happened throughout the country to. They do yes they absolutely I'll ask. Last. And all of her. I think I'd like to do the polar plunge in Hawaii maybe I. Let let the winner you'll plunger. I. My this will be my sixth. Year and actually my son will be joining me health benefits or that he's and and he's totally decided to go and matter. And plunge again. Tell me about the experience of jumping in the Columbia River when it's saloon late February. Well I think getting on the bank and see you know river. And having that wind blows sometimes they anticipation. Of it is. Canada big buildup fun. How cold it's going to be but you're out there with friends and family. Sometimes there's people that it's about the only time you see them is. Polar plunge agree Eagles reunion of friends as well. And they get to see everybody out there. It just excited and stayed static costume contest so you've got people Sean have been wild and seemingly caught it and then. It's kind of been an nice little party feels elated and little reunions for those people you haven't seen for a while. In that not only other crazy people jumping in the Columbia River but it's a party on the beach right. Absolutely we got that look blue Buddha. Who do donuts will be there again this year from the baker he obviously the people for Fred Meyer that I mentioned before and a number of other vendors and. Supporters seek any that he different sustenance before he died at. Party a little bit there is that it is quite mention the costume contest which is always fun. It's a good time. Party. I've talked to you guys know you two specifically about two Special Olympics organ and the U law enforcement torch from people in years past. And they told me some great names of some of the teams that dress up and get together and do this together can you think given he's creative names and only one of them. Name for. Some of those Big Easy but one of my favorites. I've got a friend that works for the port of Portland. And she convinced that FBI agents to be on her teens. And she told him cost them their mandatory we all Wear costumes. He shows up that day them their theme is Richard Simmons says he has the Afro NC. They assured from the late warm earth and it looked around didn't he sees that. And a good number and costing us but not not everybody it's not mandatory. And see if it's the look on his statesman he came to the realization. Of what he was wearing out in public. The he he kind of question. Did he got a water found out freezing malaise and kind of question and then in the end said. Sign me up next here this was a block they go eight up. Don't imagine there's lot of people and once you do if you wanna do it for the rest your life is their right. I think so you you're out there and like it's it's smaller unions and small party out there I'm getting together and having a lot of fun. I got to admit I'm giggle anxious at this point yes. I boldly speaks more leads along the I I felt like if that I signed up for that point for our target August which kind of like a really good idea was really more so. I am I'm bracing myself. As we speak. Let me ask both of you what does the polar plunge do for our community. Well I think you know it's a great ways to kids that city together. For a great cause. And it's related to bonds do I know for our law enforcement team. You know we worked together in there's sometimes where can enrolled stressful situations. Or her. Am not seen the best. Of its communities so for it's today that bond as friends and do some. Sun. And a little bit crazy. But it's also a way that where kids together with other law enforcement teams and bonding with them. And fondly at the other teams that are out there we've got family base he is young is based team law enforcement. It just so wide spectrum. And a last year. It was wonderful we wore our uniform shirts with caution tape. Like. Hula skirt. Grab a spirits actually had called until that one of the guys that Wear it. We heard but it's still a little but it felt several athletes father a police. Uniform shirt and thought I was about to come and visit and share about their days and that I was just really nice to. To have that connection. And the positive. Fun atmosphere. I I apps. Truly green Knight I think just that a little dazed state. This what quite Hussein is that it it truly is a representation of a broad base of our support its Special Olympics. You know are mentioned in we are blessed to have many corporate sponsors let's. Really the support becomes a special of this comes from the volunteers the coaches. And communities and a lot of a lot of very committed individuals I think there's. Something about or guardians taking care of each other and we experience the very best of that. That being GAAP basis it's Special Olympics and I think the polls close just. Represents an opportunity to rest all come together and have a good time for the cause them. Have a laugh and sudden in shiver a little bit and then share share some of that cold water but it's. It really is it's a cross section that is it represents. A large base our support. It's all for good fun injuries lots and lots of money. I thought for Special Olympics orient the Tommy let me ask you how important is the Special Olympics to the community and to the athletes. Well is to the athletes. You know if you think about our core programming it really of provides the social base for them and a social base for them throughout their lives as we mentioned earlier it's not just. Young very teenage athletes we have athletes do off stages. And Walsh shapes and sizes and it's it's very important to core. Place for them interact with their peers. To be out in the community and doing things so traumatic it's it's it's it's a very important for the individuals and then. Can solve our newer programming like unified. Champion unified schools. We'd been able to create they are inclusive environments it's in our high schools as well also. The unified champions schools the programs there. Are based around athletes with intellectual disabilities partnering with students. From the general population and playing sports alongside. The varsity athletic teams. As a regular sports schedule it in the high schools and he can imagine this thrill for our athletes when they're playing in front of the act basketball arena word gymnasium that's that's phenomenal and the athletic directors and the leadership for the schools that are participating nowadays say that the culture of the schools transformed. And as you can imagine sports this is a pretty powerful vehicle to bring people together in an in that venue in in those circumstances. Those kids are celebrated just like the varsity athletes which is just what a wonderful unique opportunity. For those of our triathletes into the communities to to find those common ground that bring this together. It's it's phenomenal it's one of the fastest growing areas of our our program. If somebody listening wanted to get their child involved in Special Olympics or how they do that. You guys there's a couple different need obviously don't see he had. A special of this sort in web site they'll give you some information on how to get involved we have chapters that they mentioned earlier in each each one of the counties. Then they got the the states. And then for the younger athletes have free fall we have the Nike used games where we invite you can't waste. Armed into the programming we give them a sample of the difference sports. We do some. Some wellness testing comedies and education for the parents and we kind of you know alike provide its sampler. What they can experience throughout the year with Special Olympics as a whole so there's there's many ways and whether from. Geography standpoint or or sports standpoint I think it's fourteen to sixteen sports. There's no talk about when it's pretty pretty widespread let them lots of opportunities. And and more coming all the time. So in the last minute or so we have here give me all the details about the so polar plunge is happening this this coming Saturday. So it'll be. Down on the Columbia River it broke. Beach and people that want to get involved that aren't already signed up and goes to plunge or again dot com. And I know people about the LA how do you bring yourself to get not water. And a look at it that. A lot of these special Olympic athletes. It's some daily challenges and have to do things can outside their comfort zone at times and I feel like for me. I can face that challenge today as the polar plunge by giving them that ice too cold water to do some pins in support of our amazing special Olympic athletes. Women units at the Johnson and jumped out. We know all the way out there dive teams and give a big high fives it is today semen and so. Will we get as far as where I've vowed after the group. Intel merely tell the Jones and intones LP you do a 24 times general. Yes right because just get it again again like you had all over somehow but yes. It's it's going to be a great event this this coming Saturday of Brighton Beach on the Columbia River. It's the polar plunge I'd like to thank you both for being on the show today. Thank you very much. Thank you. We were talking today with Tommy came vice president of North America sports marketing for Nike board chair for Special Olympics oriented and a polar plunge super plunger and of course father of Jack. And also sergeant wind Johns with the Newburgh Dundee police department. Volunteer with Special Olympics Oregon and chair of the law enforcement torch run executive council Mitchell's go is an Entercom radio Portland public affairs program I'm Gary blocks of if you're involved with the nonprofit or public affairs organization or do you have an idea for an upcoming show I'd like to hear from you. Visit microscope PDX dot com and submit your ideas you can also go to the station's website and submit your information there. Thanks for listening Demitra scope and enjoy the rest of your weekend.