Lodge members, who are also Aberdeen Proving Ground police officers with the installation's Directorate of Emergency Services, raised $2,015 in support of the event, which supports sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
"It is our goal to support the Special Olympics of Maryland annually in this event," said DES Police Officer Jonathan Wight. Wight said nine lodge members, including one photographer who did not plunge, participated and the group's goal was to raise $3,000 and recruit 25 participants. Although they fell short of both goals, they are committed to do better next year, he said.
This was the first plunge for FOP Lodge 116F as a group but Wight's second. He said he appreciates the camaraderie of the event as well as its overall purpose.
"This is a very well organized event that brings thousands of participants together [while raising] millions of dollars for children and adults," he said.
FOP Lodge 116F has an ongoing commitment to community service, Wight added. Its members also participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run which also supports the Olympics. Wight said he and fellow officers are honored to take part in events that touch the lives of so many people.
"I definitely feel that collectively we make a difference," he said.
Along with Wight, APG police officers who participated in the Plunge include Laura Budd (photographer), Paul Chin, T.J. Patton II, Kurt Riley, Cal Rolfes, Eric Semke, Lee Travers and Scott Walters. Wight extended his appreciation to all participants.
"It was truly humbling to see so many people come together and raise over $2 million in support of the Special Olympics of Maryland," he said.