Volunteer Highlight – Kecia Weaver
The LETR for Special Olympics engages law enforcement worldwide championing acceptance and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities, starting first with their own communities. This year as we Plunge into freezing waters across the State, SOOR depends on our LETR volunteers more than any other season. Officer Kecia Weaver of the Bend Police Department exemplifies this commitment to bring awareness to Special Olympics Oregon and to serving her community. As sworn law enforcement for 28 years, Officer Weaver truly walks the talk. Last week, I had the opportunity to visit with Officer Weaver at River Bend Park in Bend, OR to coordinate the logistics plan for our Central Oregon Polar 5K / 10K and Polar Plunge, scheduled for February 5th. While we spoke (in the chilly outdoors along the river) Officer Weaver took time to smile through her mask and greet everyone who walked by us. She recruited new Plungers and supporters to the mission just by engaging in morning greetings with walkers and visitors to the park.
“One of the reasons I continue to plunge is because I see the challenges many of the athletes of Special Olympics overcome, I believe it’s a small thing I can do to show my respect for their bravery.
Plunging is a wacky community event with an important message to show the community that law enforcement officers are in support of all aspects of Special Olympics. I have so much respect for the athletes, families, coaches, and volunteers of Special Olympics Oregon. I really look forward to getting back to hanging medals around athletes’ necks and cheering them on when competitions resume.”
The Polar Plunge will celebrate our 17th year in Oregon and much of that has to do with Officer Weaver. In 2005 she attended an LETR conference and heard about this wild and fun way to bring awareness and much needed fundraising to Special Olympics Oregon, the Polar Plunge! Now, after Plunging 16 times (not missing 2021 with the virtual Plunge) Officer Weaver will once again brave the freezing waters of the Deschutes River, all to show her care for Special Olympics Oregon athletes and the benefits that Special Olympics programs bring to her community.