Lisa O’Brien, Ministry of the Solicitor General, Correctional Services

Lisa O’Brien’s Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) journey began 25 years ago when she got involved with her first local Torch Run. London Police Services, London Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Correctional Services grouped together each year to complete the run. Lisa’s run took her from the OPP station, to the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre, to the RCMP detachment in downtown London, to the London Police Services station – picking up local athletes along …

Rallying behind a community: Special Olympics Dufferin

Three years ago, Special Olympics (SO) Dufferin curling coaches Kurt Carlson, Brian Johnston, and Brad Brown came up with the idea to participate in the Shelburne Polar Plunge. Since then, the group has plunged every year with their team growing along the way.   While plunging has become a recurring yearly event for SO Dufferin, they also have incorporated their own fun tradition into the event: plunging in costume! “We …

Getting A High Score In Thunder Bay

The first-ever Virtual Polar Plunge set the bar high raising $361,000 for Special Olympics Ontario (SOO) athletes.  In addition to the money raised, there was an array of Plunge videos that were posted and shared across the province. Although, it was hard to choose the most creative Plunge, one did stand out amongst the pack.  The Arcade Polar Plunge submitted by Oliver Paipoonge Fire and Emergency Services was chosen as this year’s most creative Plunge.    The voice featured in the video is that of Officer Tara Bottan …

Leading The Plunging Pack: Dawn & Bryan McMillan

Too Chicken to Plunge? Not This Year Sister-brother duo, Dawn and Bryan McMillan, have been major supporters of Polar Plunge. Bryan McMillan, a member of Kingston Police, has been involved with Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for the past four years, organizing not only the Polar Plunge but many other Special Olympics fundraisers along the way. Dawn, a Special Olympics Ontario (SOO) athlete …

West Grey County’s fundraisers make a big splash

Jenn Morgan and her 10-year-old daughter Tessa have been inspirational in creating and maintaining an annual tradition in their Ontario community of West Grey County.  That tradition is the yearly Polar Plunge in support of Special Olympics Ontario. Jenn and Tessa have been remarkably successful in their fundraising efforts.  In the past five years, the mother daughter duo has raised …

Tim Agapas: A ‘Professional’ Polar Plunger!

Dr. Tim Agapas has been involved with the Polar Plunge since 2015 and will have completed six plunges as of 2021. Tim initially became involved with Special Olympics Ontario when Kingston Police Service hosted the Special Olympics Ontario Provincial Games. “The local dental society organized us into teams, and we provided dental examinations for the athletes,” said Tim. Tim was overwhelmed by …

The involvement with Special Olympics and the Polar Plunge started at home

Meet Ryan O’Neill. Six years ago, Ryan O’Neill was approached by a colleague who was involved in the Peel Regional Police Polar Plunge. This colleague knew Ryan had a son with Down Syndrome and invited Ryan to plunge. The rest is history! That year, Ryan participated in the Plunge, the next year he helped organize it, and the last four …

Ron Caudle Is Still Freezin’ For A Reason

Ron Caudle has been involved with the Polar Plunge event for three years. In his first Polar Plunge year, Ron was encouraged by Chief Bryan Larkin to participate in the event to help support Special Olympics Ontario (SOO). “How do you say no to the Chief?” said Ron.    Since then, Ron has continued participating in the Polar Plunge event. Last year, when Waterloo …

Ottawa’s Polar Plunge duo

John McGetrick of the Ottawa Police Service and Special Olympics Ontario athlete, Mélanie Héroux have become quite the Polar Plunge duo! For the last six years, the pair have been the first plungers to make the chilling jump. “This always keeps me looking forward to the next Polar Plunge,” said Mélanie.   Mélanie first got involved with Polar Plunge when Special Olympics Eastern Ontario Director, Kirk De Fazio and herself were …

Recognizing International Customs Day – Introducing, Tara Bottan

Tara Bottan has been working for the past 20 years as an officer with Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) in several locations across Ontario.  Her career with CBSA began as a summer student while attending Lakehead University in Thunder Bay.  Her CBSA career lead her to positions in the Oshawa Customs Longroom as well as Pearson International Airport, Pigeon River …