First-ever ‘Polar Plunge’ in Regina raises $22,000 for Special Olympics

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Polar Plunge
WATCH ABOVE: Well if you haven't heard... It's cold outside... Extremely cold. And what better way to show our true Saskatchewan colours... Than go for a dip in the frozen water. Here's Christa Dao with more on why many were 'freezin' for a reason'. – Feb 8, 2017

An extreme cold warning in southern Saskatchewan didn’t stop dozens of people from braving the frigid temperatures into an icy pool of water.

The “Polar Plunge” drew more than 30 divers, raising awareness and money for Special Olympics Saskatchewan programs across the province.

“Special Olympics provides sports for people with intellectual disabilities. We do year-round program as well as games, and today we’re raising money to help keep those programs at low or no cost to our athletes,” Special Olympics CEO Faye Matt said.

Some notable divers included Regina Police Chief Evan Bray, who with the help of Regina police, raised more than $2,100.

“This is just another way we can give to this incredible group of people,” Bray said.

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“When it came to collecting money, everyone wanted to pitch in. When it comes to jumping, one person is going to jump in,” he laughed.

“That’s why we’ll spread the wealth next year. It’s a great cause.”

Regina Fire Chief Ernie Polsom was also put up to the task. He reiterated the great cause and raising awareness as reasons why he decided to take the plunge.

“The police chief dared us, and created the opportunity and we thank them very much for that,” he joked.

“But mostly, anything we can do to support sports, youth, inclusion, happy healthy lifestyle, it’s the core of who we are,” Polsom said.

As a precaution, Regina police underwater investigation recovery team was also on scene.

“When they go into the water, some people have a tendency to turtle with the cold. Some people panic… We’re there for extraction, and then we have EMS on standby,” Const. Anthony Rodier said.

After the plunge, two hot tubs were present on site to help divers warm up.

“I’ve lived in the Arctic for eight years, this is comparable,” RCMP chief superintendent Maureen Levy of criminal operations said.

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Fundraisers shattered the $10,000 goal, raising more than $22,000.

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