Brrr: Special Olympics Dufferin group raises $6,020 with swimsuit toboggan ride

·2 min read

Freezing temperatures and a lack of appropriate snow pants didn't stop one family from tobogganing down a hill.

Brad Brown and his son, Dylan, slid down Murray’s Mountain Park wearing swim trunks. The challenge was part of the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Ontario.

Brown said ride down wasn't the only chilly part.

“My son looking at me trying to push off, and I told him to wait,” said Brown. "He’s pointing behind me, I look up, and there’s the mascot standing there with a bucket of cold water. He threw it on me just as I went down the hill.”

He had an idea they would throw ice water on him as they were talking about it before. He thought it would happen as he made his way down, but they splashed at the top.

Despite everything, Brown said it was worth it.

“I’d do it again, absolutely,” said Brown. “It’s for a great cause.”

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

He and his colleagues, of about four coaches, participated in various activities. As a group, they set a goal of $3,000 and raised $6,020. He set a goal of $300 himself and has surpassed the amount with $460. His son raised $430 himself as well.

Special Olympics sports are modified so athletes can play at their level and pace.

“A lot of these special athletes don’t have a whole lot,” said Brown. “A lot of our athletes are older, in their 30s, 40s and 50s, some of them. They look forward to these (games). It’s such a fabulous organization and cause because a lot of them can’t play regular sports.”

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

His colleagues dipped in a lake or river to raise awareness and money for the organizations.

He would have been in the annual event in Shelburne but wanted to stay local to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Orangeville Banner