The Willis Peters Center raised over $3,000 for its Special Olympics chapter.

The Willis Peters Exceptional Center participated in the fifth annual polar plunge to raise money for Florida’s Special Olympics chapters.

On March 24, 15 participants, including students, staff and family, took the plunge at the Mirada Lagoon in San Antonio to raise over $3,000 for the Special Olympics teams at the center.

“We just participated to help raise money for Special Olympics, which our students are involved with throughout the year,” teacher Mickie Fritzke said.

The money raised will support Special Olympics teams, including powerlifting, track and field, cheerleading, bocce, bowling, cornhole and basketball.

“It was an event that we figured would be fun for the staff, student and family member, and I was asked to help put a team together,” Fritzke said.

The team raised money though social media and asking for support from family and friends.

The Special Olympics’ polar plunge fundraiser takes place across the state. In Tampa, over 500 participants raised more than $80,000.

Florida’s Special Olympics offers year-round, competitive sports training for those with special needs. The nonprofit organization works to create an inclusive and diverse community to foster growth, belonging and public awareness.

The program is available to those with intellectual or developmental disabilities, free of charge. Fundraisers, such as the polar plunge, are one way the organization supports its mission to offer activities for all ability levels.

The Willis Peters Exceptional Center offers educational programs for students with disabilities from 3 to 22 years old. Students are placed in the center based on individual needs. The center offers programs “for students with visual impairments, dual sensory impairments, physical handicaps, emotional/behavioral disabilities and moderate to significant intellectual disabilities,” according to the center’s website.

The special needs public school center, formerly known as the Dover Exceptional Center, was renamed to honor its former principal, Willis Peters, during renovations in 2000.

For more information on Florida’s Special Olympics, visit or call 352-243-9536.

The Willis Peters Exceptional Center is located at 2919 Nelson Ave. in Dover, south of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. off Sydney Dover Road.

For more information on the center, visit or call 813-757-9462.

Previous articleReaders Enjoyed The 2024 Solar Eclipse From Near And Far
Next articleRick Ploor Memorial Golf Tournament Raised Funds For Moffitt Cancer Center
Lily Belcher
Lily Belcher is a writer for the Osprey Observer. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey Observer since completing her internship. Lily is majoring in mass communications at the University of South Florida and is a staff writer for the university’s paper, The Oracle. She enjoys writing about local nonprofit organizations and community role models who have made an impact on her hometown.