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plunging for a purpose

Patrick Mulcahy

Patrick Mulcahy

Profession: Head of Operations for Pharmaceutical Company

Hometown:  Sutton, MA

First-Time Super Plunger

What prompted you to get involved in the Super Plunge for Special Olympics Rhode Island (SORI) this year?
I won’t lie, it’s the robe! Just kidding, but I do get a kick out of the amazing robes that the Super Plungers wear in-between plunges. All kidding aside, I’ve been working at SORI events for almost 20 years because of Dan O’Neil. We’ve been best friends since 1994 and when he got involved in SORI through the Law Enforcement Torch Run, he asked for my help, and I didn’t hesitate to say yes! I’ve been volunteering with Dan at SORI’s Summer Games for over 10 years and have absolutely loved the experience. So, when Dan came to me with the idea of taking on the Super Plunge this year, it immediately stood out as something on an entirely different level. I was happy to jump on board to ensure SORI athletes get all the funding and support they deserve! Plus, the Super Plungers have always held my respect and it’s an honor to be a part of the team. In previous years, I did the singular plunge event – the Torch Run Plunge – with Dan. The Super Plunge event is a much more challenging event, so I wanted to give it my best.

What do you hope to achieve through your participation in the 2024 Super Plunge for Special Olympics Rhode Island?
When people ask why I volunteer for Special Olympics RI, it’s the same answer every time: the athletes I interact with at Summer Games are some of the best competitors and people I’ve met. They have better integrity than most professionals and they always cheer on their fellow athletes. These are qualities I wish would be at the core of all sports. If more people understood the story around these athletes, they’d realize how deserving they are of our support and money.

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?
Once a week I stare at the shower temperature control, take a deep breath, and turn it to cold. I don’t last more than 2 minutes so it’s more about the 24 dives total that I can’t train for. 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?
This is one fundraising event done by a group of fantastic people for SORI athletes. The challenge we have is holding enough events throughout the year to get all the funds needed to have the proper facilities, equipment, medical, administrative, and operations support for the athletes’ programs. There is an ongoing need for volunteers, supporters, and funding every year. When people volunteer for SORI events, they quickly get hooked and are able to sustain the efforts we are all putting into the program.

Aside from the Super Plunge, are you involved with Special Olympics Rhode Island in any other way?
I commit myself to SORI Summer Games each year and help lead the Security team. I look forward to it every year as I get to stay on campus and support the athletes 24/7 for those three days.

Anything else you’d like to add about the Super Plunge or Special Olympics Rhode Island?
If the news teams show up and I say, “Oh man this is a great event and really worth raising awareness, but the cold water is Awful, Awful,” do you think Newport Creamery will deliver some chocolate Awful Awfuls?


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.