COVINGTON -- Members of the Newton County law enforcement community recently participated in the Polar Plunge Special Olympics fundraiser at Lake Lanier. The group jumped in the chilly waters, having taken pledges of support for their efforts.
Statewide the event raised $75,000 -- $800 of which came from Newton County. The Newton County Sheriff's Office raised $510, with Sheriff Ezell Brown contributing $470.
Marissa Henderson with the Georgia Department of Corrections said the NCSO and Department of Corrections have other fundraisers planned for Special Olympics, which she feels is an important part of the Special Olympians' lives.
"For a few days, children and adults with intellectual disabilities will go on to compete in a high quality sports competition, interact with their peers and experience new places," she said. "Participation in the state games also means that these athletes are focusing on a goal, learning new skills and developing health habits that may lead to improved overall health."
Brown also has high praises for the Special Olympics program.
"Special Olympics would not exist today without the time, energy, education and commitment of many volunteers," he said. "Special Olympics relies on people of all ages to help in every aspect of the program, local and state level. We are proud to be a part of a worthwhile organization. The Newton County Sheriff's Office is committed to serving as a clearinghouse for the dissemination of information and other resources to raise community awareness. We encourage other organizations to become actively involved. We at the Sheriff's Office realize all that we do for ourselves will die with us; however, those things done for others will live forever."
Henderson said law enforcement agencies have been participating in the Georgia Special Olympics games since 1987 when the Georgia Torch Run began.
"The torch run is an actual run where members of law enforcement and athletes run the Flame of Hope to the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics games. Law enforcement also formally guards the Flame of Hope for Special Olympics," Henderson said.
For more information about participating or making donations, call Henderson at 770-784-2705.