Friday is going to be the start of a long day for Scott Moore, when he takes the first of 24 dips into ice-cold water at White Water Bay.
Although it might sound like Moore lost a cruel bet or someone is in serious violation of the Geneva Convention, he is actually taking part in the Super Plunge, a new addition to Special Olympics Oklahoma’s annual fundraiser, the Polar Plunge.
As part of the Super Plunge, Moore and other participants will jump into the pool at White Water Bay once an hour for 24 hours.
“Hitting that water is a shock to the system, but it gets your adrenaline pumping, so it’s a lot of fun,” Moore said. “Taking part of the Polar Plunge is a fun event, a small sacrifice to give back to athletes that are truly inspiring when you watch them compete.”
The event is in its 10th year as a fundraiser by Law Enforcement Torch Run, whose Jennifer Lightle said this will be the biggest year yet, with a record nine plunge sites statewide.
“This is our signature fundraiser,” she said. “It’s a great vehicle for grassroots awareness. I think it is so popular because it is outside of the norm. It is different than many of the other fundraising activities you can do.”
Most plungers will hit the water only once. Some jump as a group and come in costume, with prizes given out for the day’s best costume.
Lt. Charles Avery with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office won last year for dressing as “Purple Rain”-era Prince. He admitted he would never voluntarily jump into a pool during the winter if it weren’t for the Special Olympics.
“I am not a fan of cold water. I don’t get into any of the Oklahoma lakes until June or July,” Avery said. “When friends and family hear that I’m doing this, they know I am committed to the Special Olympics.”
But a February visit to White Water Bay is just one of many ways Law Enforcement Torch Run raises funds for the organization, including having officers will spend a full night atop a doughnut-shop roof.
Avery believes these are all just small ways to give back to the athletes whose courage inspires him throughout the rest of the year.
“In the business we are in, there isn’t a lot of exposure to really positive things, but working with the athletes is hands-down one of the best experiences you will ever have,” he said. “I really encourage everyone to come out and watch and participate with the games and you will see what I mean. It just takes one event and you are committed.”
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