By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Marlborough – On a chilly Feb. 15, temperatures rose only slightly from teens to the low 20s when brave individuals and teams took part in the fifth annual Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Massachusetts (SOMA) outside the Yawkey Sports Training Center in Marlborough, the SOMA headquarters. They plunged from the back of a truck into a pool stationed in the parking lot.
Each plunger was asked to raise a minimum of $100. They collectively raised $25,000. Highest fundraisers were recognized in four categories: law enforcement, Worcester County Sheriff’s Office; community, Holden Youth Soccer; school, Algonquin Unified Sports; and individual, Steve Hertog.
Serving as event volunteers were members of Marlborough’s Knights of Columbus Council 81. Wegmans donated refreshments for plunge participants and volunteers.
The Polar Plunge was organized locally in 2016 after Officer Andy LaRose of the Marlborough Police Department (MPD) attended the International Law Enforcement Torch Run Conference in the Bahamas.
LaRose explained, “I saw the impact that police can make and knew about other plunges. I figured we could add another event for Special Olympics in Marlborough, considering their headquarters is right here.”
Since 2015, LaRose has also organized the MPD Motorcycle Ride as a fundraiser for SOMA. This year’s ride is scheduled for Saturday, June 27, beginning and ending at the SOMA headquarters, 512 Forest St.
According to its website, “The athletes, coaches and volunteers of SOMA are changing the way the world sees individuals with intellectual disabilities.”
Photos/Ed Karvoski Jr.