10th anniversary of polar plunge to kick-off with virtual ceremony

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This year marks the 10th anniversary of the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Alberta.

The Polar Plunge challenges people to bravely jump into frigid waters to fundraise and raise awareness of Special Olympics.

Usually, the event includes a number of meet-ups with large groups of supporters. For 2021, the event will be held virtually to protect participants from the spread of COVID-19.

“The safety of our members, participants, and the public is of utmost importance, so making the decision to move the Polar Plunge to virtual-only, while unfortunate, was relatively easy for us,” said Chief Lee Newton, LETR executive council chair.

“We want to encourage all Albertans to join us in celebrating our 10th anniversary by taking the Plunge for these great athletes.”

The plunge season will begin with a virtual opening ceremony on January 31. Donations will be collected up until March 13.

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In 2020, 590 dedicated Albertans raised over $197,000 in funds was raised across the province, which benefits local programs for Special Olympics.

Participants will have the opportunity to get creative and have fun with their plunges this year. From snow angels, to cold buckets of water, or diving into a kiddie pool in the backyard, the possibilities are endless.

“While it is unfortunate that we will not be able to plunge in person, a virtual event gives us the opportunity to reach more individuals looking to participate in the cause,” said Johnny Byrne, Special Olympics Alberta CEO.

“It has been an incredible 10 years, and we look forward to celebrating this milestone with all of our supporters and you at our virtual opening ceremony.”

To kick-off the event, the opening ceremony can be seen live on the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Alberta Facebook and YouTube pages on January 31 at 11 a.m.

Registration is now open. For more information on taking the plunge, visit www.specialolympics.ca/albertapolarplunge.

Those who raise funds can earn incentives like face masks, towels, and bath robes. There is also the chance to qualify for provincial awards if you reach top fundraising status.

Photos and videos from past events can be found on Flickr or on the Polar Plunge Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Follow along using the hashtags #PlungeX or #FreezinForAReason.