85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Spencer Pickles/News staff)

VIDEO: Polar plungers raise beyond $20,000 for Special Olympics BC

Inaugural Polar Plunge for SOBC draws crowds to Willows Beach this morning

As the world watched, or at least North America according to comments on the Oak Bay News Facebook page in reaction to live video, more than 85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC.

Oak Bay hosted the inaugural Vancouver Island Polar Plunge on March 11, adding to events already organized by the Law Enforcement Torch Run team that fundraises for SOBC.

Video by Keri Coles

“The first year has been amazing, we were hoping for about $5,000 and maybe 20 plungers and we’re at 85 to 90 plungers and over $20,0000,” said Const. Sheri Lucas, Oak Bay Police Department, one of the LETR organizing teams.

“Everybody’s super excited,” she said ahead of the swim, decked out in a superhero costume. “People are even hyped for next year thinking of new costumes.”

Video by Spencer Pickles

Wave after wave of plungers that included first responders of all stripes, residents, SOBC athletes and others hit the chilly waters off Willows Beach.

“What I really love about events like this is that I’ve always believed that anybody can do anything if you have the support of your community,” said Susan Simmons, a participant and coach who joined about 20 of her SOBC swimmers in the plunge. “That’s exactly what happened today, a bunch of people jumped in really cold water and there was all kinds of love around them helping them get through it.”

Video by Christine van Reeuwyk



cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

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85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Spencer Pickles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Spencer Pickles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Spencer Pickles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Spencer Pickles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Keri Coles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Keri Coles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Keri Coles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Keri Coles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Keri Coles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Keri Coles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Keri Coles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Keri Coles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Keri Coles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Keri Coles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Keri Coles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Keri Coles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Keri Coles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Keri Coles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Keri Coles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Keri Coles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Keri Coles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Keri Coles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Keri Coles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Keri Coles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Keri Coles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Keri Coles/News staff)

85 people took a plunge Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. (Keri Coles/News staff)

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