HELENA – Over 100 people are expected to turn out for this year’s Sweetheart Passion Plunge Saturday at Spring Meadow Lake.
The plunge event is hosted by the Law Enforcement Torch Run to benefit Special Olympics Montana.
This year’s goal is to raise $35,000 at the event.
One of the participants this year is Helena Police Officer Kyle Walter who originally hails from Daytona Beach, Florida.
Walter says that he’s a bit nervous about the cold water but is looking forward to supporting Special Olympics.
“First year I’ve ever been involved with it. I was involved with opening ceremonies this year and it just kind of touched my heart,” says Walter, “It’s a great cause so I’m wanting to get more involved with it.”
Another first year plunger is HPD Officer Eric Koester who says that nobody should be worried about taking the plunge, but knows that it’s not for everybody.
“If you don’t want to plunge, come on out and support the cause, whether it’s donation or just moral support,” says Koester, “Because everyone out jumping in that lake can use some applause.”
DHPD Detective Domingo Leveque-Zapata has been involved with the Passion Plunge since 2008 and says that for him it’s a family event. Zapata’s sister is a Special Olympics athlete and his family involved with coaching, volunteering and sponsoring events.
Zapata says that the community support he’s seen for this event though the years has been tremendous.
“The community comes out in droves to show their support for the athletes who don’t always get the spotlight,” says Zapata “it’s amazing.”
Online registration is still open for the event and people can also resister in person the day on Saturday.
This year participants can check-in early on Friday evening from 4pm-6:30pm at Robert Allen Nissan.
For more information about the event and how to support Special Olympics Montana visit http://somt.org/plunge/.
Since 2000 the event has raised over $390,000 – just in Helena – to benefit Special Olympics athletes in the Helena area.