POSTED: Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 1:48pm
UPDATED: Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 1:48pm
GONAZALES, LA (NBC33) — Many of us would never jump into a freezing lake, but dozens of local law enforcement agencies and people in our area did. They were happy to because it's for a good cause.
For Baton Rouge Chief of Police Carl Dabadie, jumping into a freezing body of water isn't how he normally spends his Saturday morning.
"Well as you can tell by my voice, it took my breath away when we jumped in the water," Dabadie said. "But it's a great event and for a great cause."
That's why Dabadie along with dozens of others are here at Cabela's in Gonzales. They're "Freezin' for a Reason."
"What we're here for today is Special Olympics. This is one of our annual fundraisers for the 13,000 Special Olympic athletes we have here in the state of Louisiana," Dabadie said.
Virgil Atkinson is one of those athletes. He's been a Special Olympics athlete for more than 20 years.
"I do horseshoe. I do bowling and track and field," Atkinson said.
This is the annual Freezin' for a Reason Polar Plunge. Dabadie said their goal is to raise more than $40,000 to go toward the upcoming USA Games where Atkinson will compete.
"I'm going in bowling, and I'm ready for it. It's going to be awesome," Atkinson said.
For Atkinson, there's only one word he can use to describe all of this support.
"Awesome!" Atkinson exclaimed.
"This is great. This just shows the community's involvement in the event and shows that they want to be here to help us," Dabadie said. "So that's even better."
This is the 6th annual Polar Plunge. Special Olympics Louisiana offers dozens of programs for the thousands of children and adults with intellectual disabilities across the state.
For more information, you can go to www.laso.org .