West Vancouver Police Department officers got “freezin’ for a reason” this week, jumping into icy cold waters in their uniforms for a cause close to their hearts.
On Tuesday (Feb. 23) at 1 p.m. five of the department’s finest dove headfirst into the frigid waters of Eagle Harbour for the Special Olympics BC Virtual Polar Plunge. The annual Polar Plunge helps raise much-needed funds for the organization, which enriches the lives of people with intellectual disabilities through positive sports experiences.
Const. Kevin Goodmurphy said the cause was important to the team, which has taken part in the fundraising event a number of times but had to scale back plans this year in light of COVID-19 regulations.
“It was really to raise awareness around Special Olympics BC and the amazing sports programs that they have, and to raise a few dollars,” Goodmurphy said.
Although, jumping into cold water isn’t exactly his idea of fun.
Originally, Goodmurphy – known for his immaculate hair – wasn’t going to take the plunge, telling Twitter followers in a video to his account @GoodMurphyWVPD that his colleagues were jumping in and he’d be there for moral support, after discussions with his hair stylist.
“I myself will not be jumping into the frigid waters after consultation with my hairdresser, we both decided, in the interest of my hair, it's best that I sit this one out,” he joked in the video.
To his surprise, a fan called him out asking ‘what will it take to sacrifice the hair?’
This got Goodmurphy’s attention, and he suggested that if WVPD could raise $360 by midnight that he’d jump in the water.
Great day for a dip!— Cst Kevin Goodmurphy (@GoodMurphyWVPD) February 23, 2021
We raised over $2400 in less than 24 hrs. Thank you to everyone who donated in support of @sobcsociety and their programs.
I would do it again. Maybe. #PolarPlunge https://t.co/8Jbk3i8YK0 pic.twitter.com/zx45VpaPrt
Well, they raised $2,400 in 24 hours. So, he had no choice.
While some Twitter fans called on Goodmurphy to “save the hair,” he was a good sport.
“It's a sacrifice I was willing to make,” he laughed, speaking after the swim.
“It was all in good fun for a good reason. It was totally worth it.”
Goodmurphy was joined by police Chief Const. Len Goerke, Insp. Tom Wolff Von Gudenberg, Sgt. Nick Bell, and Const. Nicole Braithwaite.
It wasn’t just a quick dip either, after a suggestion by Sgt. Bell, the officers swam over to Eagle Island, ran around Eagle Island, and then swam back. West Vancouver Fire and Rescue were on hand in their boat as a safety precaution and offering support along the way.
Goodmurphy hoped to see a few more people in the community take part and it seems the WVPD have already inspired their fellow officers over at North Vancouver RCMP to get involved. They tweeted they’d be taking the plunge on Sunday in Deep Cove.
“We encourage anyone who wants to get involved each year around this time to partake as best they can and in their own way,” Goodmurphy said. “And, if they can, raise some funds to help the Special Olympics.”
This Sunday we'll be #freezinforareason! #NorthVan members will be taking a dip in the frigid waters of #DeepCove in support of @sobcsociety! Current water temp? 6.5°C...— North Vancouver RCMP (@nvanrcmp) February 25, 2021
If you'd like to support #SpecialOlympics on behalf of team NORTHVANRCMP visit: https://t.co/TVrPxlZH1L pic.twitter.com/HvXTWf8UML
The Special Olympics BC Virtual Polar Plunge runs until March 7. Participants are encouraged to film their Polar Plunge and share it on social media with the hashtag #FreezinForAReason.
Elisia Seeber is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.
Get #FreezinForAReason with the Virtual Polar Plunge for Special Olympics BC! Sign up and fundraise, then take the Plunge between February 20 and March 7. Learn more at https://t.co/qK1vlaYiZQ pic.twitter.com/wxe2YKGi2f— Special Olympics BC (@sobcsociety) February 12, 2021