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Polar Plunge participants in Summerside face frosty fate for a good cause

Blake MacDonald was the first brave soul to jump into the bone-chilling waters.
Blake MacDonald was the first brave soul to jump into the bone-chilling waters. - Desiree Anstey
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. —

Dozens of individuals lined up and waited their turn to leap into bone-chilling water, all for a good cause.

Sunday, members of the public participated in a Polar Plunge in Summerside, with one twist – participants jumped into a four-and-a-half-foot deep pool that was stationed between  Summerside Police Services and fire hall.

The event raised more than $25,000 for Special Olympic athletes on P.E.I.

Gerald Arsenault, of Search and Rescue, raised $240 for Special Olympic P.E.I. athletes. - Desiree Anstey
Gerald Arsenault, of Search and Rescue, raised $240 for Special Olympic P.E.I. athletes. - Desiree Anstey

Gerald Arsenault, of P.E.I. Ground Search and Rescue, didn’t hesitate when he leaped from the platform and into the chilled water while splashing cheerful onlookers.

“The jump was cold but better than last year when we had to walk out into the sea to get somewhere deep enough to plunge,” he said. “This is my fourth year participating and it’s great to make a rewarding community contribution.”

Charity Sheehan, the executive director of Special Olympics P.E.I., was pleased with the turnout and new location on 270 Foundry St.

“We’ve had it on the Summerside waterfront and participants had to run out so far that no one could see their reaction to the cold water, and it felt quite detached. But with the pool onlookers could enjoy watching the reactions of the participants, laughing, and even – for those close enough – get splashed,” she said.

The plunge was organized by the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics P.E.I. (LETRPEI).

Each plunger attempts to raise $100 and receives a $10 gift card from Canadian Tire in return.

The pool was donated by Canadian Tire and was raffled as a prize, including a barbecue.

Summerside’s Atlantic Police Academy cadets, from left, Colby Landrigan, Alyssa Oram and Callum MacLean take the chilly plunge all for a worthy cause.
Summerside’s Atlantic Police Academy cadets, from left, Colby Landrigan, Alyssa Oram, and Callum MacLean take the chilly plunge all for a worthy cause.

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