Shiver me timbers

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Knights of Columbus from around the state gathered in Virginia Beach last weekend for the annual Polar Plunge to help raise money for Virginia Special Olympics.

John White, Grand Knight from the Edward Douglass White Knights of Columbus Council in Arlington, took the plunge three times in water hovering near 42 degrees with air temperatures just two degrees warmer.

"I didn't know what to expect," said White before his first plunge. "I couldn't talk for about 10 or 15 seconds."

White said the second and third dunks were easier.

More than $1 million in pledges was raised for Special Olympics. Knights throughout the state pledged $21,123, and White raised $3,333 from the E.D. White Council.

There has been a long partnership between the Knights of Columbus and Special Olympics. The Knights of Columbus paid all travel expenses for Special Olympians in the United States and Canada to attend the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.

There's a personal connection for the E.D. White Council. Knight Peter Kehoe has a daughter, Laurie Ann, who is a Special Olympian. White said that the thought of helping her reach her dreams gave him the impetus to take the plunge.

"It's a tremendous honor to be a part of this," he said.

White thought this would be a one-time thing for him, but his 8-year-old daughter, Allison, who went with him to Virginia Beach, but did not go in, said that she'd like to go in next year.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016