Throughout the year, CDCR staff volunteers raise funds to support Special Olympics athletes. The Polar Plunge is one of those fundraisers. Braving the frigid waters two lakes, volunteer staff from California State Prison, Sacramento, and Sierra Conservation Center took the plunge on Feb. 8. (Other institutions are planning similar events.)
On Feb. 8, over 230 brave souls plunged into the 42-degree waters of Lake Natoma at this year’s Special Olympics Northern California Polar Plunge. California State Prison, Sacramento (SAC), volunteers attended the event with Community Resource Manager Therese Giannelli leading the charge. Eight SAC plungers supported by several chickens (people who donate but do not plunge) were on hand to support Special Olympics and their athletes.
The event hosted by the Sacramento State Aquatic Center provided fun for all ages and a unique opportunity for multiple law enforcement agencies, major corporations and small businesses to come together for a common cause. It’s one more example of CDCR’s community involvement.
The athletes were on hand to lend their support and encourage the brave jumpers to take the plunge. Many of the athletes joined the fun, taking the plunge in the chilly waters, showing the true meaning of team work and camaraderie. SAC took this year’s honors as the top fund raiser for the Law Enforcement teams, raising over $3,000 and counting. Just under $65,000 was raised from all agencies.
Sierra Conservation Center
The chilly winter water of Lake Tulloch was no match for the mighty team from Sierra Conservation Center. The volunteer CDCR employees joined local law enforcement and business leaders in the annual Polar Plunge to support Special Olympics Northern California.
Joining the fundraising plunge were the California Highway Patrol, Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department, Sonora Police Department, Livingston Police Department, and the Tuolumne County District Attorney.
The event raised nearly $31,000 to support Special Olympic athletes in their training and travel costs.
“The water was chilly but the cause was definitely worthwhile and fun,” said SCC Lt. Ricardo Jauregui. “SCC will definitely participate again next year and try to raise even more money.”
Facilities throughout CDCR partner with Special Olympics during the year for other events as well, including Tip-A-Cop, Cop on a Rooftop, charity softball games and the Law Enforcement Torch Run.
Special Olympics Northern California serves more than 13,000 athletes, providing free year-round sports training and competitions, school programs and health resources.