APSO and Cabela's host 2018 Special Olympics Polar Plunge

The weather was far from polar at Cabela's on Saturday, when the outdoors store and the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office hosted the 2018 Polar Plunge benefitting the Louisiana Special Olympics.

But that's a good thing. Nearly 30 teams jumped into the pond outside Cabela's to raise money for the cause.

Teams that took the plunge included APSO, the Gonzales Rotary Club, the Baton Rouge Police Department, LSU Police, Louisiana Chivers, the East Ascension High School Swim Team, the St. Amant High School Student Council, a team from Cabela's, and more.

APSO Cheif Deputy Bobby Webre took the plunge three separate times with APSO, the Knights of Columbus, and the Gonzales Rotary Club. He said although the weather outside was warm, the water was still quite chilly. But it's all for a great cause and more than worth taking a dive.

"People dress up, and they dance, and the music is playing, and there's food. So we try to make it a very festive atmosphere," said Webre. "And when you watch those Special Olympians here and the pride that they have, for them to brave that cold water also is something to see."

Team Sparkle, a Polar Plunge team of special olympians, was once again a crowd favorite. Dressed in tutus and fairy wings, they also dove into the chilly water. The team also won the contest contest, along with a tropically dressed group called Pineapple Express.

It was a great year for the Polar Plunge, as Louisiana Special Olympics celebrates 50 years this year. Webre said law enforcement throughout the community has been thrilled to be involved with such a great organization.

Webre suspects he took the plunge more than anyone else at the event because it was a way to get his organizations involved. He noted there are more than one Rotary Club and KC groups in the parish. He challenges all local organizations to sign up and take the plunge next year.

WAFB Chief Meteorologist Jay Grimes and morning anchor Matt Williams served as masters of ceremonies, giving countdowns as teams dove into the less-than-frigid water. A raffle was held for a $300 cooler, and donations were collected. Food, drink, and t-shirt sales also raised money at the event.

Visit our 2018 photo gallery here.

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