For its first in-person event in more than two years, the annual Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Ontario has found a new home at Chatham’s local craft brewery.

Sons of Kent Brewing Co. will host the annual Polar Plunge on January 21, 2023.

“We are so excited to have [Sons of Kent] on board. Their involvement with our local community and charity groups speaks for itself,” said Constable Jason Herder, one of the organizers. “Moving forward, we’re hoping it will take one of our biggest fundraising events that we host every year to the next level.”

The Polar Plunge, which is organized by the Chatham-Kent Police Service, encourages the local community to raise money for the chance to jump into a pool of ice-cold water in the middle of winter.

For the past two years, the local Polar Plunge has been held virtually due to pandemic restrictions, raising approximately $16,000 each year. The last in-person event in 2020 raised around $46,000.

“We were still able to have great success, even through just an online campaign,” said Herder. “Obviously, we’re looking to get back to our in-person event and get back to the fundraising amounts we’ve made traditionally in the past.”

This year’s local fundraising goal for the Polar Plunge is $40,000.

Herder said all the money raised will benefit Special Olympics Ontario as part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run initiative.

“Special Olympics Ontario is the charity of choice for the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police and rightfully so,” said Herder. “It’s a fantastic cause. Anyone who has had the opportunity to see one of these events in person knows exactly what I’m talking about. It’s a life-changing experience to be involved in such a worthy cause.”

Registration for the Polar Plunge is expected to open in the coming days. For updates, follow the Torch Run for Special Olympics Ontario – Chatham-Kent on Facebook by clicking here.