BELOW ZERO HEROES
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 2:26am
MPD Officers "Freezin' For A Reason"
Madison Police officers will once again plunge into the icy depths of Lake Monona on Saturday to raise money for Special Olympics and support the Law Enforcement Torch Run series of events.
The 13th annual Madison Polar Plunge takes place at Olin-Turville Park on Saturday, Feb. 18th from 10:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Madison Police have plunged as a team for over 9 years. The Madison Police team, this year being organized by Officer Andrya Coutts, considers the event an opportunity to support families from not only the Madison area, but across Wisconsin.
"I remember the first year I participated," said Coutts. "I had just had my first child and was so overwhelmed, I couldn't imagine the challenges faced by these children and their families. I've participated for eight years after that ... this is my way of showing support for them."
One Madison Police Officer, Kurt Wege, also plays a drier but no less significant role in organizing this year's event. Tasked with insuring the safety of participants and making sure the hot tub is piping hot for shivering plungers, Wege hopes this year's event goes smoothly despite the odd winter weather to support the many Special Olympics events through the year.
"This is the largest single fundraiser for Special Olympics in Wisconsin," he said. "I and others participate because you see the athletes in the summer games and getting that positive contact ... you see that your actions really benefit people."
The Plunge event supports the competitions and training in 18 different sports for nearly 10,000 athletes each year. This is the
In March of 1999 Wisconsin held its first Plunge at Lake Onalaska with 315 Plungers raising more than $30,000! Since its inception in 1999, Wisconsin Polar Plungers have helped raise millions of dollars for Special Olympics with last year's 9,320 participants raising more than $1.9 million at 12 Polar Plunge venues. Last year Madison's plungers held raise over $500,000 alone.
- Officer Kurt Wege, 266-5938