March 31, 2014 by wcobserver
-By Steve Winkler-
Teeth chattered and hearts pounded for the fifty-two registered Polar Plungers who took a dip in the West Fork of the White River Saturday, March 22 to raise money for the Special Olympics. One of the largest crowds seen in Riverside Park lined the shore to cheer the photograph the Plungers.
The charity event, sponsored by the West Fork Police Department, caught the attention of the community quickly. The total raised was $4,902. “We’re really proud of the way the community got behind this event,” said West Fork Police Chief John Collins
Prizes were awarded in a number of categories including Best Costume and Most Money Raised for both individuals and groups. Local businesses, church groups, schools and just plain groups formed teams to join in the fun.
Donna Kilmer, Field Representative for Area 3 which includes Washington, Benton and Madison counties said Special Olympics serve over 750 athletes ranging in age from eight to adult.
The next event will be April 12 at Ramey Jr. High in Fayetteville. That event is a qualifier for the State Games at Harding College in Searcy at the end of May.
Ms. Kilmer pointed out that all the funds collected at the West Fork Polar Plunge all go to the local community, not to cover administrative costs. The money is used to help pay for programs for the athletes so there is no cost to their families.
“Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to more than 4.2 million athletes in 170 countries. Special Olympics competitions are held every day, all around the world—including local, national and regional competitions, adding up to more than 70,000 events a year,” according to Wikepedia.
Next year February 7, 2014