By Lindsey Temple
News Star Reporter
Plunging into icy cold water in the middle of winter is not what most of us would consider a good Saturday afternoon but for Pernell fire fighter, Jennifer Riley it’s all too easy, for a cause that she believes in.
After battling the blazing grass fires of our county over the past summer months and now taking a chilly plunge that makes most of us shiver at just the thought of it, one might say Riley is fearless.
On Saturday, February 5, at 10:00 a.m. Riley will participate in the Oklahoma City Polar Plunge, jumping willingly and without hesitation into the frosty waters at White Water Bay in Oklahoma City, in hopes of raising $500.00 for Special Olympics.
A Polar Plunge is a fundraising challenge made to an individual or group challenging them to dive into a cold body of water in order to raise money for Special Olympics.
Each participant collects pledges from family, friends and businesses in the hopes of raising money for Special Olympics.
“I have a special place in my heart for handicapped people, my love for these AMAZING individuals is what prompted me to do this.” explains Riley.
Throughout her life, Riley has seen the effects of Down syndrome on many people she loves and has always been a voice for those who are affected by the condition.
From a very young age Riley’s best friend and cousin was affected by the condition and through her relationship with him, Riley witnessed firsthand the hardships he faced.
It was her cousin that first introduced her to The Special Olympics and how beneficial the event can be to an individual facing certain physical and mental disabilities.
Since moving to the area Riley has meet and become increasingly close to several individuals who are living with this and other disabilities and conditions, furthering Riley’s mission to help in whatever way she is able.
Riley wouldn’t call herself an advocate; she is far too humble for all that but it is clear to see that this is certainly something she is passionate about.
Riley is asking citizens of the area to give what they can to this very special cause.
“I encourage people to come out on Saturday, February 5 at 10:00 a.m. and see me take the jump, oh and bring some coffee,” laughed Riley.
To help Riley reach her goal, either visit her online collection site at www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/jenniferriley or call her directly at 405-268-2073.