Why I was 'freezin' for a reason'
I’ve known since a very young age that awareness and inclusion are not always easily obtained. I’ve also learned it’s the people you surround yourself with who can make all the difference in the world.
At American Family, I was so excited to see awareness and inclusion as an objective of my work group, and I knew I wanted to take part. What we have accomplished has brought such joy, valuable information and personal fulfillment to me that it’s difficult to put into words.
You see, I have been personally involved with the issue of inclusion. I have an adult son who received a brain injury in 1984, which left him with physical and mental challenges. We have endured many hurdles, as well as triumphs, along the way.
One of those triumphs has been our involvement with Special Olympics. We have a wonderful support system that is like family at home in Sun Prairie, Wis. But I also have my work family here.
On Feb. 9, I was a first-time jumper in Madison’s Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics. While looking at some of the other team members, I found a co-worker, Brandon Gingher, who is a four-time plunger. He told me, “The rewarding feeling of raising money for such a great cause far outweighs the shocking feel of the icy-cold water. It’s a great adrenaline rush, and a great accomplishment to share with others!”
So I sent requests for donations to Special Olympics to family, friends, coworkers, and past and present managers, as part of the Polar Plunge. I was overwhelmed and humbled by their generosity. We have so many caring people with big hearts here at American Family, and I am so grateful to all of them, and so proud to say I work here. I was able to raise $2,200 for Special Olympics Wisconsin!
I can tell you the jump was indeed an amazing and exhilarating adventure and one I will be doing again! (See the photos of Anita on this page – in the gray T-shirt – before the jump with her team and on her way into the icy waters!)
This event proved to me the inclusion and awareness we strive to create at American Family. Brandon and I were proud to be “freezin’ for a reason.”