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“Polar Plunge” taking place this Saturday afternoon for LWSO

Polar Plunge Amherstburg Poster

The Amherstburg Firefighters Association is hosting an event to help raise funds for LaSalle-Windsor Special Olympics (LWSO).

Similar to the event that is held in Windsor, the local “Polar Plunge” is being held at the Amherstburg Yacht Club this Saturday from 4-6 p.m.

“With a little less than a week before the event, we’re welcoming everyone of all ages and abilities to register here even though it is intended to be first responder-led,” explained Amherstburg Firefighter Association (AFA) president Cameron Arksey. “Essex-Windsor EMS and Windsor Police have been invited to put in participants/teams.”Arksey stated the Jones Group has provided a large bin the AFA will clean, safety, put a liner in and fill with ice water for first responders and members of the public - including families - to jump into for Special Olympics fundraising.

The Amherstburg Fire Department (AFD) has been asked by Arksey to use one of the vinyl pop-up pools for young children and families to use for a safer, more comfortable experience beside the official bin. Arksey pointed out the AFA is a self-funded and non-profit organization separate from the fire department itself.

Arksey pointed out a “friend of the fire department” Max Vigneux is a local multi-medal-decorated powerlifter who once worked at fire station #1.“We all so appreciated his help keeping the station in order and bettering our fire community with his cheerful, hard-working attitude,” said Arksey. “To say thank you, specifically on behalf of the firefighter membership, I thought it would be a great idea to help LWSO raise money to help send Max and his fellow athletes around the province to compete in more games.”LWSO supports teams of Special Olympians across the region and Arksey said the AFA set up their own fundraiser to ensure the money goes directly to the LWSO and not simply to the Special Olympics' corporate headquarters.“One thing I’d like to highlight with this event is AFD's Water & Ice Rescue Team. This is a special group of firefighters who do additional rescue and recovery training in order to be on-call for any emergencies involving our waterways or waterfront,” said Arksey. “It is an extra responsibility that these men and women take on, in addition to regular fire calls, weekly training, and monthly equipment checks and maintenance. It is a big job on top of an already big job, on top of full-time work outside of the fire service etc. so I have organized T-shirts for this team to be recognized and I’d like to make sure we say a special thank-you to them at some point during the event.” Following the Plunge, Arksey said Shooters Roadhouse is going to host an after-party and is assisting the APA with more fundraising with a custom promotional beer they organized with Powerhouse Brewing Company in London.

“Proceeds from the sales will go to LWSO in addition to the pledges for the Plunge,” said Arksey.

“Polar Plunge” taking place this Saturday afternoon for LWSO

By Ron Giofu

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