July 24th, 2024

Police ready to take a polar plunge for Special Olympics

By Lethbridge Herald on January 31, 2024.

Lethbridge Police Service Const. Braylon Hyggen is encouraging members of the community to join him Saturday at Henderson Lake park to take a plunge for Special Olympics. Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman

Alejandra Pulido-Guzman – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – apulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The Lethbridge Police Service is encouraging community members to brave the cold water of Henderson Lake Saturday and take a plunge with them for the Special Olympics. 

In preparation for the Polar Plunge, Cst. Braylon Hyggen said on Wednesday police still need some help reaching their goal and he hopes Lethbridge will step up and not only donate, but also make a splash with them. 

He said last year in Alberta police raised $157,000 between six polar plunges, and they want to at least try to exceed that figure this year. 

“We’ve set a goal for $15,000 for Lethbridge alone, and we are getting close to $9,000, so we need to push that number and try and get it up to at least meet our goal, and as well as to get more plungers,” said Hyggen. 

He said even though the water will be cold, he encourages residents to momentarily endure the frigid water for a great cause, and to remember there is a way to warm up right after.  

“I have probably plunged 12 times. The anticipation is the worst. Walking up to the cold water is probably the worst part of it, and then you jump in, and it is a shock. And then you get out, you get in the hot tub, it quickly warms you up and then you get out. It’s great,” said Hyggen. 

He said this year police will have awards for best costume and most money raised, so he is encouraging everyone to get creative, gather some courage and perhaps others to take the plunge together and have fun. 

LPS is entering two teams this year – Shivers, which includes Cst. Hyggen, Chief Shahin Mehdizadeh, Insp. Jason Dobirstein and Mayor Blaine Hyggen, along with a team comprised of civilian employees.

Hyggen said he will also be participating in other plunges this year to help raise funds for Special Olympics in other communities. 

“I am doing five polar plunges leading up to the national games here in Calgary this year, so the national Winter Games we’re going to have athletes coming in and participating at the end of February into the beginning of March,” said Hyggen. 

Individuals or teams can register in advance at https://soa.crowdchange.ca/53959 or at 10 a.m. at Henderson Lake on Saturday.

 The cost to register is $50. Those who wish to donate to a team or individual can use the same link. Donations will also be accepted at the event. Tax receipts will be provided for amounts over $25.

All plungers must be a minimum of 16-years-old and for safety reasons, there will be no diving, no cannonballs and no somersaults. Plungers must wear a swimsuit or other clothing, costumes are strongly encouraged. Change tents will be available on site however there will be no secure storage for valuables.

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