Annual Polar Plunge set for Jan. 13

PELHAM – The Pelham Police Department is once again preparing to participate in the eighth annual Polar Plunge for Special Olympics at Oak Mountain State Park on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018 at 8 a.m.

Special Olympics of Alabama, which has more than 14,000 athletes, provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, according to their website. Currently they offer 20 different sports in the state of Alabama.

A large part of the funding needed to operate these programs comes from events held by the Alabama law enforcement community.

The Polar Plunge kicks off fundraising efforts for the law enforcement community. People and groups from all over Shelby County show up to participate in the icy plunge.

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Debbie Sumrall said 70 plungers participated in the 2017 event, which raised more than $13,000. The 2017 Polar Plunge took place on March 4.

Next year, the law enforcement community is hoping to raise even more money for Special Olympics.

Every year the event features a costumes contest. Past costumes have included pirates, Sesame Street characters, leprechauns, penguins, mermaids, Great Gatsby characters, a sumo wrestler, the crew from MASH and Pelham Police Chief Larry Palmer dressed up as Dr. Seuss.

Participants will enjoy hot treats on the beach and a bon fire.

Go to the event’s Facebook page, Oak Mountain State Park Polar Plunge for Special Olympics, to purchase tickets to participate in the plunge.