Chief takes plunge for Special Olympics
By Traci Chapman
Mustang Police Chief Chuck Foley believes in the mission and the people who are a part of Special Olympics. On Feb. 15 he’s going to take the plunge to prove it.
That day, the chief – along with hundreds of others, many of them law enforcement officers and officials – will participate in the Polar Plunge. A major fundraising effort for Special Olympics, it is Foley’s second year to take part in the event, he said Tuesday.
“I was never able to take part in the Polar Plunge until last year,” the chief said. “It was a chilly experience, but there’s so much festivity going on, it’s just a great, great thing.”
Last year, Foley established his own record, as the oldest participant in the local plunge effort, he said. But while this might be new, Special Olympics has been part of a police career spanning more than 35 years, the chief said.
“I’ve always had employees who were involved in Special Olympics, and I encouraged them, but then they basically got me involved,” he said.
Law enforcement has a unique role in Special Olympics, Foley said. Members carry the torch and participate in a myriad of events, he said. In Oklahoma, members of law enforcement run, ride bikes and use other means of transportation to carry the torch from the Oklahoma state Capitol to Stillwater, where the summer games are held.
Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma both take their turns to be part of the Special Olympics efforts as well, the chief said.
“It’s actually an international process,” Foley said. “In Oklahoma, the summer games are held on the OSU campus, while winter games take place at OU.”
This year’s polar plunge, one of several plunge events held across the state, will take place at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 15 at Whitewater Bay, Foley said. The chief is hoping to increase the number of donations he has collected before the event. With a goal of $1,000, he now has $690. Foley has collected more than $1,465 in the last year, according to his plunge page.
“We have several Special Olympians in Canadian County and particularly in the Mustang School District,” he said. “I want to do this for them, to help raise money and also to support them in their efforts.”
To learn more or to donate to the chief’s efforts, go to http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/chuck-foley/oklahomacitypolarplunge20141 or www.sook.org.