Polar plungers brave the chilly waters off Alki Beach as part of a Special Olympics Washington fundraiser. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Polar plungers brave the chilly waters off Alki Beach as part of a Special Olympics Washington fundraiser. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Freezin’ for a reason | Polar Plunge supports Special Olympics Washington

The event raised more than $160,ooo, with major contributions coming from law enforcement agencies.

Teams from the King County Sheriff’s Office, Redmond Police Department, the South County “Copsicles” and more braved the cold on Feb. 23 at Alki Beach for a polar plunge supporting Special Olympics Washington.

Delayed two weeks by Seattle’s snow storms, the event still featured a fair amount of ice. The light rain turned to hail shortly after the first wave of plungers ventured into the chilly waters of Puget Sound.

But participants said they were “freezin’ for a reason,” with some wearing T-shirts with the phrase, “The cold is temporary, the impact is lasting!”

According to its website, the event raised more than $160,000. It also featured a food truck fair and beer garden.

Initially, the goal was to break the Guinness World Record for largest polar plunge, but organizers said they fell a little shy.

“While we may not be breaking the world record for the largest polar plunge, by all accounts we will have the largest gathering of polar plungers with the biggest hearts,” they wrote on the website.

The top fundraising teams were law enforcement agencies, with the Seattle Police Department and Snohomish County (Marysville Police Department) Polar Plungers bringing in the most. Redmond Police Cpt. Erik Scairpon and Bothell Police Chief Carol Cummings also participated — Cummings for the eighth year in a row.

Special Olympics Washington provides people with intellectual disabilities with a place to play and feel included, through programming in sports, health, education and community building. Go online to www.specialolympicswashington.org for more.

The King County Sheriff’s Office team poses for a photo before taking a polar plunge into Puget Sound. Katie Metzger/staff photo

The King County Sheriff’s Office team poses for a photo before taking a polar plunge into Puget Sound. Katie Metzger/staff photo

A King County Sheriff’s Office boat sprays water at polar plunge participants. Katie Metzger/staff photo

A King County Sheriff’s Office boat sprays water at polar plunge participants. Katie Metzger/staff photo

The Redmond Police Department team, wearing swimsuits and costumes, gets ready to take the polar plunge into Puget Sound. Katie Metzger/staff photo

The Redmond Police Department team, wearing swimsuits and costumes, gets ready to take the polar plunge into Puget Sound. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Polar plunge participants said they were “freezin’ for a reason” - to support Special Olympics Washington. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Polar plunge participants said they were “freezin’ for a reason” – to support Special Olympics Washington. Katie Metzger/staff photo

The polar plunge at Alki Beach fell short of breaking the world record of 1,799 people, set in 2015 in Poland. Katie Metzger/staff photo

The polar plunge at Alki Beach fell short of breaking the world record of 1,799 people, set in 2015 in Poland. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Bothell Police Chief Carol Cummings participates in her eighth polar plunge in a row. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Bothell Police Chief Carol Cummings participates in her eighth polar plunge in a row. Katie Metzger/staff photo

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