Nearly 200 Kingstonians ‘freezin’ for a reason’ at 13th annual Polar Plunge

One of over 100 people to ‘take the plunge’ on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024, this man caught some air before a bone-chilling dip in Lake Ontario in support of Special Olympics Ontario. Photo by Stefan Strangman/Kingstonist.

Approximately 180 participants gathered at Crawford Wharf on Sunday to raise funds for Special Olympics Ontario at the 2024 Kingston Polar Plunge. 

The event drew participants from across Kingston and from all ages to brave the frigid waters in one of the most well-attended Polar Plunges to date. Plungers raised funds individually or as teams, and larger teams, like the 30-person St. Lawrence College Police Foundations program team, raised $6,000 alone. Clara Bird, a 23-year-old graduate of the Police Foundations program, completed her third plunge this year. 

“It was freezing!” Bird said, but she noted she looks forward to returning and ‘#FreezinForAReason’ again next year. 

Current SLC Police Foundations program students and alumni share a warm-up dip post-plunge on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024. Photo by Stefan Strangman/Kingstonist.

The event was hosted by Kingston Police and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in partnership with the Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Run to fund sports programs for athletes with intellectual disabilities. This year’s goal is $75,000, and much of the funds raised by the event will directly help young Kingston athletes through Special Olympics Ontario, according to Kingston Police Sgt. Steve Koopman. 

“Some of these youth have seen their peers represent their schools, and knowing they have the chance to represent their own schools and show their abilities can make some of the seasoned officers get some dirt in their eye and tear up,” he said. 

Kingston Frontenacs’ mascot Barrack the Bear cheers from the sidelines as one of the nearly 200 participants hits the surface of the lake during the 2024 Polar Plunge in support of Special Olympics Ontario. Photo by Stefan Strangman/Kingstonist.

The current total raised is $57,272 for 2024, nearly matching the $58,711 raised in 2023. The donation window will remain open for several days, and the final amount can be viewed here.

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