Polar Plunge raises $17K for Special Olympic athletes

Dozens of law enforcement officers and city residents took a plunge in the ice-cold waters of Sunnyside Beach for a good cause on Saturday.

Police agencies across Ontario say they want to raise $400K this year

This year's Polar Plunge attracted 74 participants to the ice-cold waters of Toronto's Sunnyside Beach. (CBC)

Dozens of law enforcement officers and city residents took a plunge in the ice-cold waters of Sunnyside Beach for a good cause on Saturday. 

Organized by the Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Run, the Polar Plunge was described as "a fun opportunity" to support Special Olympic Ontario athletes.

Police Chief Mark Saunders was on hand for the event but only to offer moral support. He expressed excitement for the large turnout.

"We've got so many more people here versus last year, so this is an exciting opportunity," Saunders said. "The fact that we use sports to promote inclusion is something that's so necessary for our Special Olympic athletes."

In 2017, there were 46 plungers and the event raised $12,750.

Police agencies across Ontario have said they want to raise $400,000 this year.

Police Chief Mark Saunders says sports is being used to promote inclusion. (CBC)

"We're doing our part, and we're launching off with this event," Saunders said.

Co-ordinator for the Special Olympics Torch Run, Const. Ryan Park said there were 74 participants in Saturday's plunge.

"We've raised over $17,000 for Special Olympics which is a pretty good increase from last year," he said.

"It's a new initiative that Toronto took on last year to raise money for the Special Olympics athletes. We've increased almost 40 per cent and hopefully next year we can go even bigger," he added.

Peter Bouhs, representing the Toronto Police Parking Enforcement Unit, took the plunge with his son Jason Bouhs.

"It's for a great cause," he said. "It's just a fantastic thing."