By Matt Montgomery
Piedmont Police Officers Scott Gibbons and Brian Alexander were part of the group who have raised $7,670 so far this year for Special Olympics Oklahoma.
Gibbons and Alexander and the rest of the Plunging Po-Po’s dived into the frigid water Saturday at White Water Bay during the Polar Plunge event. They were joined by the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s office, Oklahoma City Police Department and many other area law enforcement agencies.
The Plunging Po-Po’s took home the Guardians of the Future Spirit Award for being the organization who raised the most money so far towards Special Olympics of Oklahoma in 2013.
Gibbons has been participating in the Polar Plunge for nine years now and enjoys raising money for a good cause.
“For me, it’s kind of hard to put into words,” he said. “I started my career in law enforcement in 1998. Almost immediately in 1999, I started in small functions on L.E.T.R. (Law Enforcement Torch Run). Everybody assumes that LETR is a running aspect and I’ve never had to run in anything that I’ve done, but it is the largest grass roots fund raising effort for Special Olympics.”
Gibbons is an avid fund raiser for Special Olympics of Oklahoma, participating in several events throughout the year. Two of the events he participates in is Polar Plunge and Cops on Donut Shops.
At Saturday’s event, there was one Piedmont resident, two Piedmont Police officers, two twin 7-year-old girls and some of Gibbons’ friends who decided to volunteer to take the plunge.
“Brian Alexander is a rookie officer and he didn’t know any better,” Gibbons said. “The rest of them are basically friends of mine.”
Gibbons said it was totally worth jumping into the pool at White Water to raise money for Special Olympics. He said once someone gets involved with the program, it is hard to step away from it.
He is also a unified partner in Special Olympics Oklahoma Summer Games, having worked with inner-city Crooked Oak school for the past 10 years.
Because Gibbons represents the City of Piedmont, 10 percent of the money raised by his team will be earmarked for special needs athletes within Piedmont.
He said that 10 percent could be used to pay for the special needs athletes’ room and board from Piedmont who play in the Special Olympics.
“Not only is it making sure the games are there, but it’s making sure that our local kids get there,” he said.