• DawnRatte
  • No Comments
plunging for a purpose

Mike Horan

Mike Horan

Profession: Firefighter/EMT for Quonset Point Air National Guard Station and Heavy-Duty Tow Truck worker for Sterry Street Towing and Recovery

Hometown:  West Warwick, RI

Super Plunger Since: 2022

What initially prompted you to get involved in the Super Plunge for Special Olympics Rhode Island?
I was approached by Richmond Police Chief Elwood Johnson who started the Super Plunge in Rhode Island. He invited me to join the team after watching the success I had had over the years raising funds for Special Olympics Rhode Island through my involvement in the Penguin Plunge. I jumped at the chance as a way to broaden my fundraising efforts to help the athletes.

Describe at a high level the Super Plunge experience.
Enduring the bone-chilling temps as a Super Plunger is no easy feat. But seeing the athletes and supporters hit the beach to cheer us on? That’s what makes it all worth it. The real challenge is always trying to top last year’s fundraising tally. But hey, we’re in this together. The camaraderie among the Super Plungers is like no other. We’re all striving for the same cause: raising enough funds to support Special Olympics Rhode Island athletes and develop some new programs. That bond, that support, it keeps us pushing through, year after year.

Given that you’re plunging into icy waters every hour for 24 hours straight, are you able to eat or sleep at all?
Eat, yes, but we get very little sleep.

How do you personally prepare for the Super Plunge?
I rewatch interview segments of Chief Johnson, former Super Plunger Erick Leclerc, and others who have made appearances about the Super Plunge in previous years on various local news and lifestyle shows. It gets me in the mindset of the upcoming Super Plunge!

During the Super Plunge, are there any steps you take or rituals you follow before and/or after each of the 24-hour plunges?
Systematically, we pump each other up prior to every plunge!

Describe how you feel physically and emotionally after the final 24th plunge?
Exhausted but fulfilled knowing I contributed to helping the athletes.

Do you have a favorite memory from any of the Super Plunges you’ve participated in?
My favorite memory is when the towing industry did a drive- through convoy to show their support for and help raise awareness of our efforts to take on this grueling initiative for the athletes of Special Olympics Rhode Island.

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?
Get involved with Special Olympics in some way. You won’t be disappointed.

Aside from the Super Plunge, are you involved with Special Olympics Rhode Island in any other way?
I have been a proud member of the medical team for Special Olympics for 18 years, have done the Penguin Plunge for 19 years, and have participated in the fashion show for 3 years. I also assisted Ed Pacheco, the President and CEO of Special Olympics Rhode Island, with the recent refurb project on the organization’s trailer and I help out with the transport of the trailer. One other contribution I’ve made is getting some of the funds raised for the organization appropriated to purchase 3 AEDs for our medical team.

Anything else you’d like to add about the Super Plunge or Special Olympics Rhode Island?
I’m proud to be involved with Special Olympics in so many ways, including starting the social media campaign, PENGUIN NATION, to help reach a larger audience to raise funds for the athletes. To date, the campaign has raised over $150,000!

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.