Special Olympics Polar Plunge Raises Over $25,000 in Cobourg

In Community, Editor Choice, Local, Police Blotter

Two officers from the Cobourg and Port Hope Police Service spearheaded a Polar Plunge for Special Olympics that raised over $25,000 on Thursday, March 23, 2023.

Port Hope Police Constable Tammie Staples and Cobourg Police Constable Josalyn Hilts organized the event that had members of both services along with members of Port Hope Fire Department, Cobourg Fire Department, Northumberland County Paramedics, Cobourg Mayor Lucas Cleveland, Deputy Mayor Nicole Beatty and Port Hope Councillor Adam Pearson all took part in the event at the Cobourg Marina Boat launch.

“I’m all for it. If it’s a sacrifice you have to make for a good cause – I’m all for it,” said Mayor Cleveland.

Cobourg Police Chief Paul VandeGraaf spoke to the crowd just prior to the plunge and stated the money goes towards, “allowing athletes with their special abilities to get involved in an Olympics.”

This year is the first time the competition has been held in four years due to COVID.

“I think this is an amazing turnout – two communities coming together to do such an event for such a great cause.”

Two Special Olympians who braved the chilly waters of Lake Ontario were given the first two 2023 Law Enforcement Torch Run coins.

As they left the water, Hilts said with a smile, “freezin for a reason.”

VandeGraaf was the first to lead his service into the water and shook the hands of each one as the exited up the boat launch.

Law Enforcement Torch Run Manager, Special Olympics, Derek Spence said the event in Cobourg was the 27th Polar Plunge across Ontario.

“It’s been an excellent Polar Plunge season with communities coming out to supporting like this is incredible – especially when they combine both communities.”

With the first games since COVID, Spence said the extra funds will go along way.

“We have over 26,000 athletes in the Province of Ontario. So all the money that’s raised in places like this and events like this goes directly towards their funding towards sports, arenas, uniforms.

All that it takes to put Special Olympics on.”

The grand total announced later in the evening that was raised for Special Olympics is $26,925.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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