Polar Plunge Raises Funds for Special Olympics

"Plungers" made big splashes at St. Clair College's "Freezin' for a Reason' event Feb. 5 at main campus. [Photo by // Samantha Fernandez]

by Samantha Fernandez
News Editor- The Lance 

Students, teachers and community members were “Freezin’ for a Reason” as they plunged deep into a pool of icy water at St. Clair College’s main campus.

Brave students and teachers at St. Clair College took part in a Polar Bear Plunge on Feb. 5 to raise funds for Special Olympics Ontario, while community members also had a chance to participate Feb. 7.

The Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Run worked in partnership with St. Clair College to raise awareness and funds for the athletes of Special Olympics Ontario. This event takes place all over Ontario, with different plunges and fundraising initiatives throughout the month of February, some heading into March.

Just to make it a more competitive event, the plunges were judged in different categories including most creative costume and biggest splash. The judges of the event included St. Clair College’s president John Strasser, Ward 1 Councilor Fred Francis and Windsor Police Chief Al Frederick.

OPP Constable Jim Chauvin, one of the organizing officers of the plunge and MC of the day, was enthusiastic about the number of students, staff and community members who were signed up for both plunges.

“So far we have had about sixty pre-registrations and we are getting some more walk-ins,” said Chauvin. “On Saturday, for the plunge open to the general public we had about thirty pre-registered, so collectively we had about 100 registered.”

Both students and staff alike were very excited to be participating in the plunge. Lizette Beaulieu, a part of the nursing faculty at St. Clair College and a member of the Plunging Nurses team, said she loves having this event happen at St. Clair College.

“It’s important that St. Clair College is always involved with the community, this is just one more way that we can show our support,” said Beaulieu. “It’s very positive and it contributes to all the amazing things the Special Olympics does not just here, but everywhere.”

The Plunging Nurses were just one of many teams participating in the plunge on Feb. 5, along with them were international students, students from protective service investigation, police officers and many more.

Daniel Laurier and Oliver Warlock, two students who jumped with the PSI team, spoke about how they got involved in the plunge. Warlock said their professor gave them an abundance of information about how to participate. The two agreed the plunge isn’t pleasant but knowing where the funds are going makes it worth it.

“I’ve done this before, but it’s still going to be really cold.” said Laurier “I used to work with persons with mental and physical disabilities, I’ve done it ever since I could walk and those I’ve worked with are like family to me, so I’m doing this for them.”

Todd Rhoden takes ice off the top of the pool at the Polar Plunge at St Clair College [Photo by // Samantha Fernandez]

Todd Rhoden takes ice off the top of the pool at the Polar Plunge at St Clair College [Photo by // Samantha Fernandez]

Ward 1 councilor Fred Francis waves at the crowd at the Polar Plunge at St Clair College [Photo by // Samantha Fernandez]

Ward 1 councilor Fred Francis waves at the crowd at the Polar Plunge at St Clair College [Photo by // Samantha Fernandez]

Lizette Beaulieu and one of her teammates take the plunge at St Clair College [Photo by // Samantha Fernandez]

Lizette Beaulieu and one of her teammates take the plunge at St Clair College [Photo by // Samantha Fernandez]

Oliver Warlock dives into the pool at the Polar Plunge at St Clair College [Photo by// Samantha Fernandez]

Oliver Warlock dives into the pool at the Polar Plunge at St Clair College [Photo by// Samantha Fernandez]

International students from Brazil participated in the plunge at St Clair College [Photo by // Samantha Fernandez]

International students from Brazil participated in the plunge at St Clair College [Photo by // Samantha Fernandez]

"Plungers" jump in at the Polar Plunge at St. Clair College [Photo by// Samantha Fernandez]

“Plungers” jump in at the Polar Plunge at St. Clair College [Photo by// Samantha Fernandez]

Windsor Police Chief Al Frederick and Constable Cealia Gagnon prepare to take their plunge at St Clair College [Photo by// Samantha Fernandez]

Windsor Police Chief Al Frederick prepares to take his plunge at St Clair College [Photo by// Samantha Fernandez]

Two Participants of the Polar Plunge at St Clair College Jump into the freezing pool Feb. 5.  [Photo by // Samantha Fernandez]

Two Participants of the Polar Plunge at St Clair College Jump into the freezing pool Feb. 5.
[Photo by // Samantha Fernandez]

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