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plunging for a purpose

Dan O’Neil

Dan O’Neil

Profession: Police Sergeant, Rhode Island State Police

Hometown:  Warwick, RI

First-Time Super Plunger

What prompted you to get involved in the Super Plunge for Special Olympics Rhode Island (SORI) this year?
I have been doing the “one and done” Law Enforcement Torch Run Plunge for SORI for 17 years and craved something different and more challenging this year. I have always loved watching the athletes and their sheer determination to make a positive difference in the world. I figured by doing the 24-hour plunge I would inspire other Troopers to make a positive impact in the community.

What do you hope to achieve through your participation in the 2024 Super Plunge for Special Olympics Rhode Island?
I hope to raise a lot of money for SORI athletes and to bring attention to the dedicated plungers who have been participating in the Super Plunge for so many years.

Given that you’ll be plunging into icy waters every hour for 24 hours straight, are you taking any steps to prepare for this initiative?
Not really, I am just hoping it won’t be too cold! Haha!

What message would you like to share with members of the public about your commitment to the Super Plunge and the athletes of Special Olympics Rhode Island?
The pain I’ll experience by plunging into the ice-cold ocean 24 times in 24 hours will be temporary, but hopefully, my involvement will make a lasting impression on the athletes and the public. I hope that I inspire people to make a donation to the Super Plunge.

Aside from the Super Plunge, are you involved with Special Olympics Rhode Island in any other way?
I am a proud, longtime supporter of Special Olympics athletes. In Rhode Island, I have served as Head of Security at State Summer Games and the Penguin Plunge. I have also run the final leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run in Nebraska for the National Games for Special Olympics. I will do anything to support the amazing athletes of SORI.

Anything else you’d like to add about the Super Plunge or Special Olympics Rhode Island?
I’m excited to take on this challenge with my best friend, Patrick Mulcahy. We met in school when we were 13 years old and have been best friends ever since. Patrick has always been a big supporter of Special Olympics, giving up his much-coveted free time to support the athletes. When I asked him to plunge in the ocean with me 24 times over 24 hours in frigid water to raise money and awareness for the athletes, he didn’t hesitate to commit. He said, “With you, I will do it.” That’s a true testament of how selfless Patrick is. He will do anything for anyone without question as long as his actions lead to a positive outcome. He is truly one of a kind and I am blessed to have him in my life. He is more than a best friend, he is my brother.


The Plunging for a Purpose Series

The “Plunging for a Purpose” series celebrates the indomitable spirit of the Torch Run Super Plunge participants. These remarkable individuals are gearing up for an extraordinary challenge: plunging into icy waters every hour for a relentless 24-hour stretch, starting at 1 p.m. on March 23 and concluding at noon on March 24, all at Salty Brine State Beach. Their goal? To raise vital funds and awareness for the athletes of Special Olympics Rhode Island. Through their dedication and selflessness, they inspire us all. Join us in supporting their cause by considering a donation to their remarkable endeavor.