SALEM, Va. – The law enforcement community has been a longtime supporter of Special Olympics. That is why agencies across Virginia are gearing up for an ice cold challenge: the 2021 Polar Plunge.
The officers and staff of the Western Virginia Regional Jail have been involved with Special Olympics for about a decade, organizing fundraisers and taking part in the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run, but did not participate in their first Plunge until 2020.
“We went all in, so to speak, and really tried to raise as much money as we could and just the sense of teamwork with the facility itself and people getting involved,” said Sgt. Lori Fadorick, the Special Olympics liaison for region 10.
The team’s costume theme for the 2020 Plunge was “Alice in Wonderland,” which earned a first-place finish in the New River Polar Plunge costume contest.
Fadorick said she and her colleagues get to see firsthand how important Special Olympics is to its athletes.
“I can’t say it enough, it’s just so rewarding to interact with the athletes and see the appreciation and what they get out of the Special Olympics,” Fadorick said.
She said this year may be one of the best times to give the Plunge a try since people can ‘plunge your way.’
“If you’re hesitant at all this is the perfect year to do it because everybody can plunge their own way,” Fadorick said. “You can jump in a bathtub. You can have a water balloon fight with your friends and family, but however you want to do it, that support is just so important.”
Athletes across Virginia are having to connect virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic, at a time when that community connection is needed more than ever before.
“The Polar Plunge is one of the biggest fundraisers for Special Olympics and obviously with the pandemic, donations and fundraising are down significantly so it’s really important that people participate and support Special Olympics,” Fadorick said.
Polar Plunge teams are encouraged to take the plunge between February 1-6. To sign up or donate, click here.