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Annual Polar Plunge at Isle of Palms benefits Special Olympics - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Annual Polar Plunge at Isle of Palms benefits Special Olympics

Photo Source: Live 5 News Photo Source: Live 5 News

A big group took a chilly dive at the beach for a cause. The Annual Polar Plunge benefiting the Special Olympics was hosted by The Windjammer at the Isle of Palms.

These plunges take place across the country. It kicked off with a party followed by the plunge.

Members of the law enforcement community come out every year to help raise awareness and money for Special Olympics.

"The water is a little chilly, not nearly as bad as it as last year, I think everybody understands what it's about and is out here to support our mission," says Deputy Chief of Mount Pleasant, Stan Gragg. "Seeing Tate Micheal, one of our athletes, go in the water and seeing everybody standing around supporting him, cheering for him as he goes in it's just phenomenal."

Participants raise at least a $50 donation.

"I'm a proud parent of a Special Olympics athlete, I coach a bowling team, I love my athletes," says Sgt. Harold Phillips with the Charleston County Sheriff's Office. "It's a great way for law enforcement and the community to come together and raise money for a good cause."

The Special Olympics organization receives no federal funding so it's events like these that fund activities for people with intellectual disabilities. 

"You look at the crowd for a moment and then you concentrate on what's in front of you and that was the water," says Phillips. "When you come back out and see all the smiles and everybody hugging each other and having a great time, that means a lot."

Organizers say this year the group is close to raising $20,000 nearly doubling the amount raised last year.

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