Law enforcement agencies raised thousands of dollars last weekend for the Special Olympics.
The Polar Plunge, held in balmy 70-degree weather on March 25 at Griffin Lodge in Wadesboro, helped to raise about $6,000, according to event organizers.
Lt. Brian Tice, of the Anson County Sheriff’s Office, said the amount was at or above his $6,000 goal. The group had nearly that amount in donations alone, not counting t-shirt sales.
Several individuals, many with law enforcement agencies and churches, donated before diving off the pier into the lake.
This is the second time the law enforcement agencies have held the event to benefit Special Olympics. Sheriff Landric Reid said the divers were lucky that the weather was warm for the “polar” swim both years.
Polkton Police Chief Matthew Norris said he was grateful for the donors.
“This is one event that touches my heart because these kids are nothing but love, and the only way to show them is to love them back,” he said.
Last year, Tice said the goal was $4,000, and they made somewhere between $4,500 and $4,600. This year, they decided to increase the goal to $6,000 and still met the goal despite having fewer participants. He said there were other several other events going on at the same time as the Polar Plunge that probably caused the smaller group. Twenty-two people dove in the lake last year, while 15 did this year.
Tice said that organizers are planning more events to raise money for Special Olympics, including a raffle for a drawing on July 1 for cornhole boards, a Yeti cooler and jewelry from Forbes Jewelers in Wadesboro. The Sheriff’s Office and Polkton Police Department will sell tickets, as will other businesses and individuals, he said. Tickets should go on sale next month.
Tice said that the organizers also hope to host a 5K glow run in the fall, possibly holding it uptown.
“I thank everyone that volunteered their time, donated and plunged in the event,” he said. “I want to thank the whole community for supporting the event and continuing to support Special Olympics.”
Reid said he also was grateful for the donors.
“It’s always good when the community comes together to support law enforcement and the Polar Plunge,” he said. “I appreciate the donations and the participation.”
Reid said he expects the event to grow even more next year.
Breakfast was provided for the participants, and a barbecue lunch was donated by Island Time Catering.
Merchandise is offered for sale at the Anson County Sheriff’s Office.
Reach reporter Imari Scarbrough at 704-994-5471 and follow her on Twitter @ImariScarbrough.