Over 250 participants brave the cold for Special Olympics
By Jim Morrison
It’s 12:30 pm, freezing, there is light snow is falling, and Pointe Claire Village is a parking lot. It has to be the annual Polar Bear Plunge in support of Special Olympics, this past Saturday. In its 5th year since inception, the event is organized by the Montreal police officers and their Quebec colleagues of the Law Enforcement Torch.
According to rumors, Pointe Claire Mayor, Morris Trudeau, was to take the plunge with one of the 40 teams in attendance. “I seem to have come down with a cold this morning, therefore I will not be able to dive in.” quipped the mayor, addressing the hundreds of people in attendance.
A basin, measuring approximately four feet by four feet, with a depth of five and a half feet welcomed the teams.The water temperature at start time was a brisk 32ºF. Team Captains are appointed, and their goal is to garner between 2-20 members, with each obtaining a minimum pledge of $50.
“It was indeed the coldest, but so exciting because it is extreme! This group of runners is amazing in embracing the cause of Special Olympics athletes, we have in common the goal of surpassing ourselves through sport.” said Beaconsfield resident, and Team Captain of The Frozen Margaritas, Jackie St. Laurent told The Suburban.
“I think the water felt the coldest of my three years as a participant. The Frozen Margaritas rock and I’m back next year, just because it’s a great cause.” said Pointe Claire resident, Lynda Duguay. “I am so proud to be a part of this amazing event, with wonderful friends! Will be back again next year!” echoed Dorval resident, Karen Rye.
The five members of the Frozen Margaritas, dressed in Hawaiian skirts, and leighs jumped in holding hands, landing in water for ten seconds, and lead out by four volunteer members of the police force. The event raised a record $70,221.
The proceeds support the more than 5,500 people with intellectual disabilities, who participate in recreational and competition programs run by Special Olympics Quebec.
Further information on this organization can be seen at: www.olympiquesspeciaux.qc.ca
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