By Deputy Chief Stan Gragg for The Island Eye News
Photos by Steve Rosamilia
On Saturday, Feb. 18, a group of dedicated law enforcement officers partnered with the Windjammer to host the 3rd Annual Polar Plunge for Special Olympics.
Registration began in the morning and the entertainment kicked off shortly thereafter thanks to the band Acoustic Vacation featuring Copahee Sound.
Through the support of the community and corporate sponsors, such as Baker Motors and the Windjammer, approximately $21,451 was raised for the more than 24,848 Special Olympic Athletes here in South Carolina. The money raised will fund athletic training and competition in 27 Olympic Style events at more than 300 competitions annually, with no costs to the athletes or their families. Participants who met their goal of $50 in donations received a commemorative polar plunge shirt, tickets for food, and raffle tickets for a chance to win door prizes.
The Windjammer Polar Plunge is one of nine in South Carolina organized by members of the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR); the largest fundraising organization to be partnered with Special Olympics. Started as a running event in Wichita, Kansas in 1981, the LETR has spread around the world with 95,000 officers raising money and awareness for Special Olympics.
As guardians of the Flame of Hope for inclusion and engagement we now host events like Polar Plunges, truck convoys, Tip a cop, Cop on Top of Doughnut Shops, dodgeball tournaments, fishing tournaments, motorcycle poker runs, just to name a few.
In 2015 the LETR raised over $55 million worldwide which adds to the ongoing total of $619 million since its inception in 1981. For 2016, the SCLETR raised over $888,604 for our SC Athletes.
The next scheduled local event will be a Tip-a-Cop event at the FATZ at Tanger on April 28, followed up by the Coast to the Capital Torch Run Relay on May 4 and 5 from Sullivan’s Island to Columbia, which coincides with the Special Olympics Summer Games.
Anyone interested in participating or sponsoring our events, and/or volunteering with Special Olympics can contact Deputy Chief Stan Gragg at the Mount Pleasant Police Department at 843.884.4176 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org