First Chatham Polar Plunge makes a splash at Jordan Lake

Apex, NC –  On Saturday, March 3, a crowd of men, women, and children gathered to plunge into the chilly waters of Jordan Lake to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics North Carolina. Chatham County Sheriff Mike Roberson and his wife Annette were the first participants in the water, followed by an additional 36 Polar Plungers.

chatham polar plunge participants

1st annual Chatham Polar Plunge participants.
photo by Gene Galin

“The support for this event has been overwhelming.  I can’t give enough thanks to our Special Olympics Athletes, Polar Plungers, sponsors, sister agencies, schools, Student Resource Officers, and Community Service Unit for making this event a success,” says Sheriff Mike Roberson. “I also want to thank State Parks, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, North Chatham Fire Department, and First Health EMS for their assistance with keeping the event fun and safe for participants.”

Awards were given post-plunge to include Best Individual Costume (Student Resource Officer Jesse Clark), Best Group Costume (TrialCard), Youngest Plunger (Cole Cooper), Oldest Plunger and Highest Fundraiser (Captain Tammy Kirkman), and more. There was also a Chili Cookoff, free popcorn and sno-cones, and plenty of music and dancing thanks to DJ Ben Suggs.

“Our goal was to raise money for an amazing cause. Our sponsors and Polar Plungers delivered above and beyond our goal,” says event coordinator Deputy Rocky Smith. “I am especially grateful to Oak Grove Technologies, Bold Construction, Chatham Park, Pittsboro Rotary Club, Queen B Rentals, Allstate, Dallesandro Agency, Tarantini Italian Restaurant, and TrialCard for sponsoring the event.”

The event pulled in more than $13,000 in donations, more than doubling donations received from Over the Edge in September. The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting another fundraising event for Special Olympics NC on May 14 at Governors Club. The Golf Tournament is expected to be the highest-earning fundraiser yet and will raise thousands more for adults and children with learning disabilities set to compete in the North Carolina Special Olympics.