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‘Jackalope Jump’ Raises Over $12,500 for Special Olympics

Anthony Pollreisz, K2 Radio

Frigid temperatures failed to stop dozens of jumpers from taking a special plunge for charity Friday night.

Nearly 70 people began their weekend by jumping into a swimming pool filled with cold water for the 2013 Jackalope Jump outside the Casper Family Aquatic Center. Proceeds collected from the event went to Special Olympics Wyoming.

The demographics of the jumpers in attendance ranged greatly: Old and young, male and female, and even some out-of-towners participated. Ron Casalenda, a lieutenant with the Douglas Police Department, says he’s a Jackalope Jump veteran.

“Actually, I started thinking about it when I was came up from Douglas,” Casalenda said. “I’ve done this multiple times before, and you think it’s going to be fine until you get up on that platform and then you start realizing that the water’s going to make a major impact on you when you hit it.”

Regan Diller is the director of special events and communications for Special Olympics Wyoming. He says Friday’s event, and the 12 other Jackalope Jump events statewide, are critical for the organization.

“Without events like the Jackalope Jump, we can’t provide the opportunities that we can across the state,” Diller said. “This is big for us.”

For the 2013 Jackalope Jump, Diller says the event was a success, in part, because of outstanding local support.

“It’s amazing – we’re lucky enough to live in a state (like Wyoming) and community like Casper where you’re going to get that community support from everybody,” Diller said.

Diller says Friday’s event kicked off Special Olympics Wyoming’s 2013 fundraising season. Additional Jackalope Jump events will take place in Cheyenne and Gillette on Saturday and in Sheridan, Riverton and Star Valley on Mar. 2.

Diller says the event raised over $12,500.

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