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Annual cold plunge raises more than $4K for Special Olympics B.C.

North Shore police officers and North Shore Rescue volunteers brave the cold at West Vancouver’s Ambleside Park

You thought you were surprised when this week’s forecast predicted a mid-winter like dumping of snow? Imagine being one of the police officers or North Shore Rescue members who had pledged to plunge into the cold depths at Ambleside Park this Thursday.

The waters might have been icier than initially bargained for, but that certainly didn’t stop members of the North Vancouver RCMP, West Vancouver Police, North Shore Rescue and Vancouver Law Courts, and even a scattering of brave West Vancouver school students, from throwing themselves into the West Vancouver waters. 

The annual event, which sees the community take the plunge to raise funds for Special Olympics B.C. (SOBC), garnered its largest gathering yet, said North Vancouver RCMP Const. Mansoor Sahak.

“We actually had a really good turnout, even better than last year. We had all our partners contributing to this special event, and even some with other agencies that we weren’t expecting, but they were there,” he said.

Const. Azad Vizheh, leading this year’s detachment challenge, set a group fundraising goal of $2,500. The goal was quickly surpassed by 10 a.m., as the collective fundraising total reached just over $4,000. Vizheh himself raised just over $1,000, bringing the grand total to $4,500 come Thursday afternoon.

It might have been “a little bit cold,” but the sun was shining and there were “plenty of smiles” from a happy crowd pleased to be able to support such a great cause, said Sahak.

“It was overall an amazing get-together to show support for the Special Olympics.”

The funds raised will aid the organization in providing year-round sport programs and competitions for those with intellectual disabilities. Donations can be made through the event's website

Mina Kerr-Lazenby is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.