If you’ve ever met Maj. Ward Webb, you know what’s at the top of his to-do list this time of year.
Webb, who is commander of the patrol and traffic division of the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, is diligent the beginning of each year with his efforts to raise money for the Louisiana Law Enforcement Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Louisiana.
He’s already met his personal goal of $15,000, raising more than $16,000 so far.
The plunge, set for Feb. 27 at Cabela’s in Gonzales, is part of Louisiana law enforcement’s efforts to raise money for Special Olympics, Ward said.
Ward got involved a few years ago when the plunge was held at LSU lakes.
The event started when Carl Dabadie and another lawman jumped into the pond at Bass Pro Shop in Denham Springs. They raised just over $500.
The event moved to the LSU lakes and grew to include more than 100 jumpers.
The Polar Plunge eventually moved to Cabela’s and last year the event raised more than $80,000.
Dabadie, who is chief of the Baton Rouge Police Department, and Webb serve as chairmen of the event and host a friendly competition between law enforcement departments — a contest Webb is quick to point out has been won by the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office for the last few years.
Webb said the event provides the funds needed to support Special Olympics Louisiana.
As a longtime volunteer with Special Olympics, Webb said he has “seen firsthand the difference that Special Olympics has made in the lives of not only those that participate, but those that are associated with these remarkable athletes.”
Special Olympics offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community, he said.
While the plunge features mostly law enforcement departments from around the area, several other groups, including some Special Olympians, also take the plunge.
To register a team, visit http://laso.org/what-we-do/fundraising/polar-plunge.
To donate to Webb’s efforts, visit http://tinyurl.com/z3mu9x3.
Webb also has invited area residents out to see the plunge and learn more about the Olympians.
“It’s quite a thing to see,” he said.