When it comes to Special Olympics New Hampshire, Eric Retelle is the definition of a renaissance man. In his 24 years as an athlete with SONH he’s competed in athletics, swimming, bowling and Unified® Basketball. Eric has been involved with Athlete Leadership since 2016 and he currently serves as Secretary on the Special Olympics New Hampshire Board of Directors.
If it stopped right there, it would be an impressive resume. But for the past 15 years Eric has been a dominant individual fundraiser for the Penguin Plunge as well as inspiring Flock Leader for Penguin Plunge Flock, The Mighty Tigers.
In his time plunging, Eric has raised over $36,000 and climbing! In addition, he has spearheaded and led the charge for his flock, with Eric at the helm, his collective flock has nearly $190,000 over the years!
When Eric started The Mighty Tigers flock, he was he was employed by tech company Dyn Incorporated. Eric is grateful for the efforts of his then co-workers for stepping up with donations that allowed him to reach his goal that first year. It was those co-workers who wanted to join Eric for the next years plunge and with that, The Mighty Tigers flock was born! Today Eric is employed by media/creative agency GYK Antler working in their Manchester office. He has already started fundraising for the 2023 plunge among his co-workers.
Eric competes with the Merrimack Tigers local program and named his plunge flock “The Mighty Tigers” to acknowledge his team. He says that while he has enjoyed all his plunges, his most memorable was the year that the theme was “Pajama Party” and he plunged in a big heavy bathrobe! He remembers the big heavy robe absorbing a lot of sea water and he still shivers when he remembers how cold that robe was walking out of the water.
Another proud accomplishment for Eric is his involvement in Athlete Leadership. He also continues to hone his Athlete Leadership skills serving as a Health Messenger Facilitator at the recent Athlete Leadership Training at the 2022 Leadership Week. His first time as a facilitator had him showing his fellow athletes some exercises and talking about ways to advocate for their own health and well-being.
Eric’s favorite part of Leadership Week 2022 was addressing the attendees at the Law Enforcement Torch Run Conference and explaining his first experience with the Merrimack Police Department.
As a youngster, Eric was curious about the 911 emergency system. He explained to the officers, “I made a few calls to see how it all went.” That’s when Eric first developed his respect for the people of law enforcement.
From the reception Eric got at the Torch Run Conference, it’s clear that respect goes both ways.
Stay involved in Eric’s 2023 Penguin Plunge fundraising efforts here.