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UM News
January 23, 2013


University of Montana junior and Special Olympics Montana board member Samantha McLeod currently is helping to organize the Super Grizzly Dip, which is slated for 11:45 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, in the Schreiber Gym parking lot on the UM campus.

In partnership with the Law Enforcement Torch Run, the annual Super Grizzly Dip generates thousands of dollars for local programs. Participants help raise funds by taking a dip into the freezing waters of a plunge tank.

Registration will take place between 10 and 11:45 a.m. in the Schreiber Gym. At 11:45 a.m., a pre-plunge party will kickoff and the Super Grizzly Dip will take place at noon.

McLeod, from Great Falls, is majoring in social work and minoring in psychology. She has volunteered with Special Olympics Montana since she was a sophomore in high school and now serves on the Special Olympics National Youth Activation Committee. The committee is comprised of 18 youth leaders from across the U.S. who work together to promote school communities where all young people are agents of change.

“During high school I was looking for a volunteer opportunity and heard about Special Olympics,” McLeod said. “I absolutely fell in love, and since then Special Olympics has become a passion of mine. I’m involved locally and nationally, as well.”

During the summer of 2012, McLeod was chosen as one of six youths to complete an eight-week internship at Special Olympics, Inc. headquarters in Washington, D.C. She is currently working as committee co-chair for a Special Olympics North America national conference that will host more than 150 youth leaders from around North America.

“As a student in UM’s School of Social Work, I’m learning how to focus on people’s strengths to really bring out the best in them,” McLeod said. “These skills have really helped me in volunteering for Special Olympics and have helped me grow, as well.”

McLeod is the daughter of Ruth and Stephen Johns and William McLeod, also of Great Falls. Upon graduation from UM, she hopes to work with children with intellectual disabilities.

Special Olympics Montana is a 43-year-old movement that enables children and adults with intellectual disabilities to train for life through sports. As an athlete-centered, family-based and volunteer-driven organization, Special Olympics Montana relies almost exclusively on the support of community volunteers, businesses and service organizations for leadership, planning and preparation, in-kind and financial gifts.

For more information on Special Olympics Montana email LeAnn Dolly-Powell, outreach director for Special Olympics Montana, at or call SOMT headquarters at 1-800-242-6876.

For more information on the Super Grizzly Dip, call McLeod at 406-231-6805, email or visit McLeod and other volunteers at an information table on Tuesday, Jan. 29, and on Friday, Feb. 1, in the University Center Atrium at UM.



Campus, Great Falls-area media


Contact: Samantha McLeod, UM student, 406-231-6805,