Polar Plunge in Kamloops brought in $3,400 for Special Olympics BC

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A Kamloops RCMP sergeant raised $3,400 for Special Olympics athletes this month, capping off his campaign with a dip in the chilly South Thompson River.

In February, Sgt. Brandon Buliziuk pledged to jump into the river as part of this year’s Polar Plunge to support Special Olympics BC, raising well above his $2,000 goal.

Buliziuk and deputy sheriff Josh Burneau of the B.C. Sheriff’s service took the dip earlier this month from the beach at Pioneer Park — not once, but twice, after Kamloops RCMP Supt. Syd Lecky pledged $100 while attending the plunge in support of his colleagues.

Buliziuk said he was happy with fundraising results and gave a special shout out to the Grade 6 class at Westmount elementary, which raised $260 for the cause.

“Though it was a chilly dip, the feeling of being able to raise funds and give back to the Special Olympics community is awesome,” Buliziuk told KTW via email. “These athletes are some of the strongest people in our communities and it is a privilege to get to know them. They are so resilient and overcome adversity on a daily basis in order to excel in their respective sports. It is truly humbling to help with the Special Olympics BC program and it is something I plan on being a part of as long as I can.”

Pre-pandemic, participants would gather in large groups and charge into icy waves at Polar Plunge for Special Olympics BC events in Vancouver, Victoria and Revelstoke. Due to the pandemic, Special Olympics BC supporters were together in spirit in 2021, taking individual icy dips to support the cause.

This year’s Virtual Polar Plunge raised funds and awareness to support life-changing programs for people with intellectual disabilities.

Michael Potestio, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kamloops This Week