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Law enforcement officers and military members polar plunge in Westbrook for Special Olympics fundraiser

WESTBROOK -- Connecticut's first Super Polar Plunge finished Sunday morning with dozens of people plunging into Long Island Sound to support Special Olympics.

Once an hour, for 24 hours, 11 New England Law Enforcement Officers and Military Members plunged into the frigid Long Island Sound to support the Special Olympics from Saturday at 1 p.m. to Sunday at Noon.

"It's hard to get from inside to outside where it's nice and warm, but it's extremely rewarding," says Dan Gastia, who works for the Sheriff's Office in Maine.

The team of super plungers represent Maine, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Each participant raised $100 for every plunge, totaling $2,400 a person.

"It's always to bring first of all, awareness and then funds for our athletes, so they can compete," says Joe Carlone, one of the Super Plunge Organizers.

The Department of Education's 2020 budget proposal threatened more than $17 million dollars in federal funding for the Special Olympics just this past week.

President Trump said Thursday to White House Reporters that he has overridden that proposal. In a Press Release, the Special Olympics said they express their gratitude to Trump for re-authorizing their federal funding.

While this is the first year of the Super Plunge in Connecticut, organizers say they're already gearing up for next year.

"I think you all ought to come out here and do it yourself and you can see what it's all about," says Scott Erfe, the District Administrator for the Connecticut Department of Corrections.

Organizers said that the raised over $16,000 and that number is rising.

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