The shoreline of Oak Bay’s Willows Beach was packed Sunday with everyone from superheros to convicts and even mascots.

It was for the third annual Polar Plunge, to raise funds for Special Olympics B.C.

“We are very fortunate to have such a great community around Victoria region, we are sitting at 40,000 dollars with over 150 plungers,” said organizer Sheri Lucas.

Anyone was allowed to sign up to join the dozens of police and military hitting the frigid February waters. Victoria Police raised around 21,000 dollars, led by their top cop.

“I can tell you as I have rose up through the ranks, and I have really watched closely these individuals with intellectual disabilities and how inspiring they are when they are competing in sports and the positive experiences they have,” said Chief Del Manak with Victoria Police.

And even though they are hitting the chilly waters, they are all smiles.

“Great cause, unbelievable!” exclaimed Manak who was soaked.

Every participant “freezin’ for a reason” is making a huge difference.

“It means everything,” said special Olympics athlete Sheenagh Morrison.

“It means we have money for travelling, and for new uniforms, it’s probably one of the coolest fundraisers we have… I’ve raised 700 dollars for Special Olympics.”

“It means a lot,” said Special Olympics athlete Michael langridge.

“It means I meet new friends, travel new places, get some medicine on the way that’s a good thing… and a family.”

The next chance to help these athletes go for gold is the plunge at Vancouver’s Kitsliano Beach in March.

Julian Kolsut