Polar Plungers brave the frigid waters

The Pelham Police Department running into Oak Mountain Lake during the 5th annual Polar Plunge on Saturday, Jan. 31. (contributed/ Eric Starling)

The Pelham Police Department running into Oak Mountain Lake during the 5th annual Polar Plunge on Saturday, Jan. 31. (contributed/ Eric Starling)

By Jon Harrison/ Staff Writer

The Pelham Police Department held its fifth-annual Polar Plunge on Saturday, Jan. 31, at the Oak Mountain State Park beach in Pelham.

The Polar Plunge is the largest fundraising event in the country for Special Olympics.

“We want this to keep getting bigger and bigger every year,” said Mike Williams, a police officer for the city of Pelham and coordinator of the Polar Plunge fundraiser.

People and groups from all over Shelby County showed up to participate in the icy plunge.  

Pelham City Council members Rick Hayes and Ron Scott showed up dressed to nines with Hayes sporting board shorts and bright green hair and Scott in a Victorian-style bathing suit and fake Mustache. Mayor Gary Waters also took the plunge on Saturday morning dressed as a lumberjack.

There was a costume contest and Rogue Siren won best costume dressed as a mermaid.

Radio station 103.7 the Q sponsored the event and radio personality Madison emceed the event.

“It’s really great to give back to the community and also to Special Olympics,” said Josh Rabon, a representative with 103.7 the Q. “ It is really fun to be out here and see everybody be so supportive.”

Multiple agencies raised almost $22,000 for Special Olympics with the Polar Plunge fundraiser.

“This has raised a lot of awareness for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities,” said Williams. “This is a big fun event for the community. Everyone is having a blast out here today and that’s just it, having fun, raising awareness and raising money so that these wonderful people can go and compete and I’m so glad that we are able to help them do that.”