Santa Cruz Polar Plunge raises $40k for Special Olympics Northern California

Taking a plunge into cold water

APTOS, Calif. - The rain did not stop people from coming out to Rio Del Mar Beach in Aptos for the annual Polar Plunge, costumes and all.

Central Coast and Bay Area law enforcement agencies teamed up with the community to raise money and awareness for the Special Olympics Northern California.

This years event raised close to $40,000. That money will go to help athletes and their families participate in sports across Northern California. "We offer year round training in sports and competition, school programs, health initiatives, to over 22,000 athletes here in Northern California. They go all the way from 8-years-old and there's no maximum age, so we have 60-70 year old athletes who do it their entire lives. It’s all free of charge and it’s such a big part of their lives and it’s the community that allows them to do it,” says Communications manager Tyler Krochmal.

While the water may be freezing, returning participants say it's the cause that keeps them coming back. “the kids, the kids and the adults, you see their happy voices and hear them say their pledge, you have to come.” 

“Helping the special olympics, we love to give back, we love it.”

There were some first timers too, who say it will not be there last. "It was chilly, but it was so great, for such a great cause. I have a little guy who has down syndrome so I was happy to be a participate for him and all of the wonderful athletes here,” says Ashley Barlow.

For more Special Olympics Northern California fundraisers and events click here.

The next Polar plunge is happening March 17th in South Lake Tahoe.

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