Local band, CMU instructor raise $800 for Special Olympics Michigan


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Packing Rubble's Bar with fans and local residents, That Mustache Feeling took up their instruments, and teamed up with a CMU instructor to raise money for one of Mount Pleasant's most renowned charities.

In four short, rocking hours, the band helped raise more than $800 for Special Olympics Michigan, toward CMU environmental instructor Nate Jonaitis' goal of $5,000.

"It's a good start," Jonaitis said.

He is working to raise $5,000 for this year's Polar Plunge event at Rose Pond, bringing his total amount raised for Special Olympics Michigan up to $30,000.

Jonaitis has been participating in the Polar Plunge for eight years in mid-Michigan. He said he has fun every year, and loves what the money benefits.

"I love Special Olympics; I always have," Jonaitis said. "I've always been a competitor in sports. What (Special Olympics) does for people is incredible."

Members of That Mustache Feeling were excited to get together and play for fun and for a good cause on Dec. 27. Cody Pung, a Mount Pleasant senior and guitar player for TMF, said it felt good to help out a community member and an organization that helps other community members.

"It's always fun," Pung said. "When we split up the door money, it doesn't amount to much between all (eight) of us, so we come together and give the money to charities."

Pung said the shows at Rubble's are always fun because it's "like a family reunion." He said he enjoys seeing old friends and playing for a packed crowd.

"I'm surprised at how well we're received," Pung said. "We just get up there and have fun. If you have enough fun, people will join you."

Sean Roberts, a member of Traci Nelson and the Honey Badgers who opened for TMF, appreciates what Jonaitis is doing for the community.

"I think it's a really great thing we're doing here," Roberts said. "Bringing people in and raising money for Special Olympics is fun."

Jonaitis still has a month and a half to raise the rest of the $5,000. He said he will be doing a lot more fundraising until the February plunge. Jonaitis said he puts two to three months into fundraising efforts, and he encourages other people to participate in fundraising and in the plunge.

"People don't necessarily have to plunge," Jonaitis said. "I think we have 'too chicken to plunge' shirts for people who don't want to but still want to raise money. They could have their friends plunge as well, or coworkers."

To help Jonaitis reach his goal, visit his First Giving page.

For more information on Special Olympics and the polar plunge, visit www.somi.org.


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