School district looks into hosting Polar Plunge

Last year was the first year for Vermillion's Polar Plunge, which benefitted South Dakota Special Olympics.

The event raised in between $8,000 to $10,000 according to Leonel and Yolanda Herrera, but they would like to make one change to the event – they would like to host it in the Vermillion High School parking lot.

The Herreras asked the Vermillion School District to help sponsor the event so it could be the organization's one fundraiser of the year.

"The insurance is so high on private property that we would like the school to be a sponsor and hold it in the parking lot," Leonel Herrera said.

Discussion was held on whether the insurance issue would prohibit the school district from hosting the event. But after further investigation, it was determined that the district could host the Polar Plunge in April since South Dakota Special Olympics is a non-profit organization, allowing it to fall under the school's insurance.

"We will probably have to talk to the insurance company, but if we sponsor it, according to the regulations, insurance will likely cover it," said Jim McCulloch, the school board's attorney. "The only thing is that the people who participate would have to sign a waiver."

The Herreras then said everyone who participates is required to sign a liability waiver.

Members of the school board all agreed it would be a good event to sponsor if they are able to and will look into the issue.

"We just have to do some research on the insurance to make sure, but we have no problems with sponsoring the event," school board member Mark Bottolfson said.

Other topics discussed in the meeting were:

• The second reading of the concussion policy led to the policy being passed by the board.

• An assessment from the storms from earlier this summer came in, which was around $7,800. There was also no damage found after the recent hail storms last week.

• The school board will move forward with paperless meetings with no date set for the start yet.

• Faye Hagger was hired by the Vermillion School District and will split her time 30 percent with the school and 70 percent with the University of South Dakota. She will be a new computer teacher.

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