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plunging for a purpose

Mac Hindle

Mac Hindle

Profession: Police Officer, Hopkinton Police Department

Hometown:  Westerly

Super Plunger Since: 2020

What initially prompted you to get involved in the Super Plunge for Special Olympics Rhode Island (SORI)?
I initially got involved in the Super Plunge in 2020 after hearing about it at an awards banquet in 2019. I had been involved with Special Olympics when I was a police officer in New Hampshire and knew I wanted to be involved with Special Olympics Rhode Island in any way I could. I heard about the Super Plunge Team from Tracy Garabedian, SORI’s Senior Director of Special Events and LETR, and Richmond Police Chief Elwood Johnson who did the inaugural Super Plunge. I told them if a spot opened up on the team, to please consider me. I became a member of the Super Plunge team in 2020 but, due to COVID, we did not plunge that year.

Describe at a high level the Super Plunge experience.
The 24-hour Super Plunge experience is one of my favorite weekends of the year. People think we are crazy for plunging into the icy ocean every hour for 24 hours straight during winter, but my mind is solely focused on the athletes and their families, who we dedicate this effort to, and this makes the event easy to get through. While sleep deprivation and dragging yourself out into the ocean at 2 or 3 in the morning is challenging, having the team all together and motivating each other makes it enjoyable. Remembering the reason we do this makes it incredibly worthwhile. 

Given that you’re plunging into icy waters every hour for 24 hours straight, are you able to eat or sleep at all?
We have a great support team that cheers us on and provides food throughout the day and night.  The people who volunteer to support us behind the scenes help make the 24-hour event go smoothly. We could not do this without them. The food they provide is always great! Enjoying home cooked meals when you’re freezing and wet is more appreciated than they could ever know.  Regarding sleeping, we get maybe 10 minutes here and there. The fatigue is worth every minute of sacrifice to be able to raise money and awareness for the athletes.

How do you personally prepare for the Super Plunge?
I honestly just kind of wing the preparation for the event.  I make sure I have everything I need as far as towels, shorts, and water shoes, but don’t do much else to prepare. Once we take that first plunge on Saturday, the rest of the weekend just kind of rolls along.

During the Super Plunge, are there any steps you take or rituals you follow before and/or after each of the 24-hour plunges?
Nothing out of the ordinary. By the time we plunge, get back to the warming tent, and change, we usually have about a half hour before we have to get up again, change back into our plunging gear, and do it all over.

Describe how you feel physically and emotionally after the final 24th plunge?
After the final plunge, I always feel amazing both physically and mentally. Feeling proud of what our team achieved and the money we raised fills me with pride. After the final plunge, I’m almost euphoric, especially seeing everyone at the Torch Run Plunge, and realizing we’ve been at it for 24 hours. It’s great knowing that all our efforts are for the athletes.

Do you have a favorite memory from any of the Super Plunges you’ve participated in?
I have great memories from every Super Plunge I’ve been involved with – they’re all my favorite memories!  Being a member of this team is very special to me and it also has an impact on my two daughters who get involved. My oldest daughter plunges with me on the final plunge which means a lot to me. Demonstrating the importance of caring for others and the joy of giving are important life lessons. Being a part of this team is a top priority for me, and I hope to remain a member for as long as possible.

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, and about how members of the public can support this initiative?
Anyone can support our cause by donating to our online Super Plunge fundraising pages. Every contribution, no matter the size, makes a real difference in the lives of Special Olympics Rhode Island athletes. You can make a general donation to the Super Plunge here or you can make a donation to my personal fundraising page, which you can access by clicking on the purple button at the bottom of this page.

Aside from the Super Plunge, are you involved with Special Olympics Rhode Island in any other way?
I volunteer at the Summer Games in uniform every year, handing out awards and medals at the end of events. I love going to the games and watching the athletes compete. They enjoy every minute of this inclusive opportunity. I find the experience incredibly inspiring. I really think everyone should experience Summer Games and see what they mean to the athletes. It totally transformed my life. I jump into any event I can, like the Cop on Top fundraiser and the Law Enforcement Torch Run from Westerly to South Kingstown, to support and raise awareness for Special Olympics athletes. Soon, I also hope to become a coach for the Unified teams at Westerly Schools.

Anything else you’d like to add about the Super Plunge or Special Olympics Rhode Island?
We are Plunging for a Purpose and Freezin’ for a Reason!!!

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.