COLUMBIA — Members of the Callaway County Sheriff's Office took a chilly plunge for charity Saturday.
Several deputies participated in the annual Polar Plunge at the Columbia Bass Pro Shop. Funds raised benefited the Special Olympics of Missouri.
"Our staff has prioritized the Special Olympics and the Super Sam Foundation as organizations we assist annually," Sheriff Clay Chism said. "We place a lot of emphasis on helping our community youth, and both of these organizations do just that. Also, our deputies enjoy relieving the stress they endure daily by having a bit of fun and helping those in need."
Participating deputies included John Nielsen, Curtis Hall, Zach Carey, Alan LeBel and Don Dame. Family members of deputies also participated.
Team members got dolled up in fun costumes, including clown hair. The creative costumes earned the team a second place in the "best costume" category. For their efforts, the team was awarded a golden plunger — literally, a toilet plunger spray-painted gold.
Through fundraising in the lead-up to the event, deputies raised $1,265 for the Special Olympics. This isn't the first time they've participated. The tradition began in 2017. Last year, a group from the sheriff's office raised $1,425.
"I am a firm believer that our staff should serve their community in ways outside of the normal scope of law enforcement duty," Chism said. "After all, we are a part of the community. One of the reasons I maintain a policy that requires enforcement deputies to reside in the county is the fact I want them to be invested in our community."