Professional News

UKPD Officers Take Polar Plunge for Special Olympics

photo of UKPD officers polar plunging
Left to right, UK Police officers Holly Williams, Zack Downing, Tom Matlock and Nathan Brown participated in the 2017 Polar Plunge. Photo by Special Olympics Kentucky.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 9, 2018) Officers with the University of Kentucky Police Department have been raising funds and awareness for the nonprofit Special Olympics Kentucky for more than 10 years through waiting tables, standing on rooftops of donut shops, and pulling 18-wheelers weighing 80,000 pounds. The fundraising tradition continues with the Lexington Polar Plunge 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, at the Texas Roadhouse on Richmond Road in Lexington.

Fifteen UK Police officers have raised money for the opportunity to jump into a pool of ice-cold water to demonstrate their support for courageous Special Olympians. Officers enjoy their role in strengthening relationships within the community and supporting worthy causes even if it means bone-chilling results.

“You dread jumping into that pool of freezing water,” said Officer Zach Downing, Special Olympics liaison for UKPD. “The cold pierces your entire body and stays with you for hours, but once it’s over you can’t wait to do it again.”

The Lexington Polar Plunge raised more than $58,000 from participating individuals and organizations last year. The UK Police Department was recognized for raising the most funds within the law enforcement division.

“We are grateful for the continued support of law enforcement agencies across the world for almost 40 years,” said Taylor Ballinger, special events director for Special Olympics Kentucky. “The University of Kentucky Police Department is a shining example of the positive influence law enforcement agencies have within the Lexington community.”

Overall, the UK Police Department raised more than $8,000 for Special Olympics Kentucky during multiple fundraisers in 2017.

About Special Olympics Kentucky

Special Olympics is the world’s largest program of sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Participation in competitive events is open to all individuals 8 years of age or older. Training and competition in local, area, state and national programs is offered year-round in Kentucky in 15 sports.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue