Cherokee Nation deputy marshals and security officers emerge from the chilly Illinois River during Saturday’s Polar Plunge at Arrowhead Resort near Tahlequah. More than a dozen from Cherokee Nation took the plunge, including (L to R) Tyler Trammel, Kolton Holmes, Dustin Davis, Chad McCarter, Jordon Colburn, Sonny Gourd and Jacob Wofford.
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TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee Nation deputy marshals and security officers splashed into the chilly Illinois River to raise money for Special Olympics Oklahoma Saturday during the 2017 Polar Plunge.
Tahlequah’s Polar Plunge, hosted at Arrowhead Resort, is one of many fundraising events held across the state to benefit thousands of athletes hoping to attend the Special Olympics Oklahoma summer games in Stillwater.
More than a dozen members of the tribe’s Marshal Service and security officers joined more than 100 other participants at this year’s event. Overall, more than $15,000 was raised for Special Olympics Oklahoma.
“It’s an outstanding cause, anytime that we can get together and gather funds for a greater cause is outstanding,” said Cherokee Nation Deputy Marshal Chris Newkirk, a first-time Polar Plunge participant.
Before the event, team members gathered donations online and held two fundraising activities: a chili cook-off and a shooting competition. The efforts of the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service raised nearly $3,000 and made them the top fundraising group for the local Polar Plunge.
Cherokee Nation Emergency Management Analyst Bobbie Jones serves as a committee member for the Tahlequah Polar Plunge. She and others from the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service have attended previous summer games to see athletes in action.
“To see the kids’ faces, they’re all smiles that day,” Jones said. “They are laughing, they are loving on everybody. Just to see them happy, to see the ones who have more struggles in their disabilities be able to do something like this, it just puts a smile on my face and makes me feel good about what we do.”
Aside from the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service, participants in this year’s Polar Plunge included area schools, elected officials, Northeastern State University groups and other law enforcement agencies.
Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols emceed the day’s activities.
“I’m always impressed at how many people turn out from so many organizations to make the event a success,” Nichols said. “It raises funds for an important cause and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
To donate to Special Olympics Oklahoma, visit http://www.sook.org/.
Cherokee Nation News Release
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