Greene Turtle Field Trainer Takes 24-hour Super Plunge for Special Olympics
Rachel Grant, Greene Turtle field trainer, runs out of the icy Chesapeake Bay during a 24-hour "Super Plunge" event benefiting Special Olympics Maryland.
Marleen Van den Neste / Special Olympics Maryland
Rachel Grant dove into the icy Chesapeake Bay every hour for 24 hours. Crazy? Maybe, but it was for a good cause—raising money for Special Olympics Maryland.
Grant, a corporate field trainer for The Greene Turtle, raised more than $10,000 in order to qualify for this special “Super Plunge” event, making her the first at The Greene Turtle to do so.
“I think you forgot about the cold,” Grant said. “Everyone jumped in together and we just had a really good time.”
Approximately 12-15 Special Olympics athletes joined Grant and other Super Plungers on January 17. Grant connected with one athlete in particular named Michael, who dove in the bay with her.
“He told me about the sports he participates in, and how thankful he is that everybody does this every year so he’s able to participate in the sport for free,” Grant said. “That was pretty special.”
At midnight, Greene Turtle’s CEO Geo Concepcion visited Grant toting energy drinks.
“I figured by this point the plungers might be a little tired and in need of an energy boost,” Concepcion said. “Turns out the super plungers were getting ready to celebrate New Year’s, complete with an apple cider toast and party favors. The energy and excitement at midnight—14 plunges deep—was a pleasant surprise.”
When first considering the Super Plunge, Grant worried she wouldn’t be able to make it to the $10,000 threshold needed—but her coworkers at Greene Turtle encouraged her to go for it and helped her achieve that goal.
“Rachel is a perfect example of how our company is willing to get behind our employees when they find a mission, something they feel strongly about,” said Brooks Walter, Greene Turtle’s director of marketing.
And it appears Grant couldn’t get enough, because the next weekend she joined Concepcion and other team members in the official Polar Bear Plunge, organized by the Maryland State Police. This was The Greene Turtle’s fifth year raising money and participating in the Polar Plunge, but Concepcion’s first year as he was appointed to his post last May.
Grant joined The Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille six years ago at its Dover, Delaware franchise location as a bartender, then worked her way up from trainer to team lead and eventually to corporate. There are more than 40 Greene Turtle units in the U.S., mostly concentrated in the mid-Atlantic region.
“We’re a family at the end of the day. We all work hard together and have the same goal in mind,” Grant said. “The atmosphere and family vibe keep me around.”
As for next year, Grant plans to participate again—and Walter has promised to join her.