Bathing suit toboggan ride on Saturday to raise funds for Special Olympics Dufferin

·2 min read

A father and son duo will take to the hills in freezing temperatures for charity this Saturday - and they'll be doing so without the benefit of proper winter wear.

Brad Brown and his son will toboggan down Murray’s Mountain Park wearing bathing suits at noon. The challenge is part of the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Ontario in his bathing suit.

“I jumped in cold water already in the middle of February,” said Brown. “My son has done it too. Last year was his first time jumping in the pool.”

Brown is one of the basketball coaches for Special Olympics Dufferin. He is also involved in curling and bocce ball. His son is also an autistic athlete.

Brown and his colleagues, of about four coaches, participated in various activities. As a group, they set a goal of $3,000 and raised $3,500. Brown set a goal of $300 himself and has surpassed that amount with $460. His son raised $430 himself as well.

About 70 per cent of the funds raised will be sent to Special Olympics Dufferin, with the remaining 30 per cent to the parent organization, Special Olympics Ontario.

Other participants plunged into a water body, such as a lake or river, to raise awareness and funds for the campaign.

Some of his colleagues, the other coaches, have opted to plunge at a lake elsewhere. He couldn’t go deciding to do a different activity.

Those registered for a polar plunge of their own will receive a polar plunge toque with a $30 registration fee. Those who raised $100 will receive a commemorative long-sleeve shirt. Those who raised $500 will get you a YETI 26-ounce bottle with a triple haul cap, the top individual fundraiser, Special Olympics athlete, and volunteer fundraiser gets an Xbox One. The most creative video plunge gets a weighted blanket.

The park has “use at your own risk” signs in place, redacting a previous ban on tobogganing altogether.

Brown would usually participate in the annual event in Shelburne, but he decided to do it close to home with no end in sight with the pandemic here.

“We normally do it in Shelburne, as a big group, but because of COVID, everybody is back home and told to do it virtually and do what you can,” said Brown. “I don’t have a pool or anything, so we decided we’re going to toboggan in our bathing suits.”

Polar plunges began on Feb. 1 and ran until Feb. 28. To take part in the fundraising effort, visit www.polarplunge.ca.

Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Orangeville Banner