Detective to rappel building for Special Olympics

Det. Ronald 'Jay' Pugliese

NAUGATUCK — A Naugatuck Police Department detective is showing no fear as the date he will rappel the 34-story Mohegan Sun building to raise money for the Special Olympics looms closer.

Through the event group Over the Edge, Det. Ronald “Jay” Pugliese has invested himself in a months-long process of raising funds for the Special Olympics — the nonprofit organization that law enforcement agencies across the world are dedicated to volunteering for.

“I thought it would be pretty interesting,” Pugliese said of his charity stunt. “It’s something I’ve never done before.”

Pugliese is working toward a goal of $1,500 by Oct. 19 — the date of his descent — as of late June he raised $1,320.

Over the Edge is a company that provides participants who have raised a minimum of $1,000 for a nonprofit group or charity with equipment and locations to rappel, or descend using a rope and harness, off a building. The funds raised by Pugliese will go straight to the Special Olympics of Connecticut, which provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

“It’s really great to work with the Special Olympics,” Pugliese said, adding that helping the organization is a rewarding experience.

Although this is the first time Pugliese will have rappelled off a building, he is no stranger to raising money and volunteering for the Special Olympics.

Pugliese said he has been involved in the Connecticut division of the Special Olympics since he began working at the Naugatuck Police Department about 13 years ago, helping with tip-a-cop fundraisers, penguin plunge events and the annual Special Olympics Torch Run.

Pugliese was originally scheduled to rappel off the 14-story State Square House building in Hartford on June 15, but the event was rescheduled by Over the Edge to the Oct. 19 Mohegan Sun event for reasons unknown to him.

However, the rescheduling from a 14-story building to a 34-story building doesn’t daunt Pugliese.

Pugliese said he is not afraid of heights and isn’t intimidated by the fact that the Mohegan Sun building is almost 2.5 times taller than the Hartford building he was originally scheduled to descend.

“Mohegan Sun looks more than double the size of the Hartford building,” Pugliese said. “It should be fun.”

To donate to Pugliese’s fundraising efforts visit Ronald Pugliese’s personal page on the Special Olympics of Connecticut website, www.soct.org.