Polar Plunge hits Willows Beach to raise funds for Special Olympics

Second annual Vancouver Island event Feb. 17 targets $25k

The Polar Plunge for Special Olympics BC (SOBC) returns to Willows Beach, Sunday Feb. 17.

The plunge is much like a polar bear swim, except the event raises money for SOBC programs and athletes. Const. Sheri Lucas participates in the event with the with the Oak Bay police department. She said $22,000 was raised last year. The goal this year is $25,000.

“Not only are you challenging yourself to step out of is your comfort zone, like the athletes do in a daily basis, but you are helping raise money for an incredible charity,” Lucas said in an email. “Other charities receive a lot of money because there is a search for a cure… Those with mental disabilities will never be cured. The only thing they could be potentially cured from is the stigma people place in them and the exclusion they feel.”

WATCH: Oak Bay hosts inaugural Vancouver Island Polar Plunge for Special Olympics BC

Participants must raise a minimum of $75 to take the plunge, and teams are welcome. More than 100 people dove into the water at Willows Beach last year. This year’s event will again have SOBC athletes, local dignitaries and emergency services personnel from across Greater Victoria taking the plunge.

“Participating in the Polar Plunge not only allows you to support the Special Olympic athletes but will also open your eyes to how amazing these athletes are,” Lucas wrote. “We could all do amazing things if we lived our lives with the positive mindset that so many of these athletes use to overcome the obstacles they face.”

Those who are interested can register at www.plunge4specialolympics.com as a team or an individual. Lucas said that dry volunteers are also needed.

The plunge is scheduled to take pace at 11 a.m., but registration opens an hour earlier. As of Feb. 6, over $15,000 has already been raised.



jesse.laufer@oakbaynews.com

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(From left) Cpl. Pat Bryant of the Central Saanich Police Service joins Oak Bay Police Const. Sheri Lucas and Oak Bay News editor Christine van Reeuwyk in doing a test run at Willows Beach in preparation for the first-ever Polar Plunge fundraiser for BC Special Olympics on March 11, 2018. They’ll be joined by members of the Victoria police and other departments for the event. (Keri Coles/Black Press).

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