WNYT.com

Fundraising history to be made in Lake George Polar Plunge

Posted at: 11/16/2012 5:18 PM
Updated at: 11/16/2012 7:07 PM
By: Abigail Bleck

LAKE GEORGE--Max Jackowski wears many hats.  Literally and figuratively.

He's known at Lake George Junior-Senior High as "The Mayor."

He's also reigning rom King.

But Saturday Max will discard the crown and his very recognizable orange cap and take a quick dip in the icy waters of Lake George.  The Polar Plunge raises money for Special Olympics.

"I can do it, yes," Max confidently said of the challenge.

And that's an understatement.  Polar Plungers raise money to participate.  Max's goal was $7500.  So far he's raised $9500.  But if Max reaches $10,000 he will make Polar Plunge fundraising history with the largest amount in donations ever.

"He's stepping out of his boundaries just like we ask the athletes...to reach a little further, work a little harder, get a little uncomfortable in the cold water," explains Max's mom, Lisa Jackowski.

Max's Buddies, the very appropriate team name, certainly vary.  There's 11 month old Colton.  And there's the Lake George School District Superintendent.

"Everyone knows Max, which makes it very easy to participate and get involved. Because he's such a character," laughs Superintendent Patrick Dee.

Max isn't just a cash contributor.  He's also a Special Olympian himself. 

"I love softball throw. Softball throw is the best.  Yes," says Max of his favorite event.  Max also runs in several track events.

"We also want to change people's attitudes about individuals with disabilities.  Change the misconceptions that people have and show them they can accomplish anything," states Michelle Iorizzo of Special Olympics New York.

Max certainly has done that.  And some. 

"Anything is possible with Max," boast Lisa, an understandably proud mom.

Max's Buddies already accounts for one-eighth of the Polar Plunge donations.   The event typically raises between $70,000-$80,000.  Athletes train and participate in the Special Olympics, for free, because of events like the Polar Plunge.