Taking ActionPeople Taking Action

Actions

Veteran Polar Plunge volunteer makes a splash for Special Olympics

Posted: 6:42 PM, Feb 11, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-11 22:17:43-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - We find this week's recipient hard at work on 31st Street at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, securing a tent that was flailing in the wind.

But rain or shine, Chris Hall is doing what he’s done every year for the past 20 years in February: Setting up for the Polar Plunge to benefit the Special Olympics.

It's not an easy task this year as storms and high winds moved in the day before the event, threatening all the hard work he and his co-workers at Virginia Natural Gas had already put in.

His son, Gavin, is a golfer and competes in the Special Olympics every year.

“It gives them a chance to get out in the community and socialize and to participate in sports and stuff with their peers and interact with other folks,” says Hall, a veteran of the Plunge and Virginia Natural Gas.

His dedication to the event got the attention of his co-workers, and now they are all in - with nearly 100 taking part in the plunge.

It got our attention, too! That's why we presented him with our People Taking Action award.

Hall fights back tears when I ask him why he does this every year.

“It’s going to be hard to do without crying. I do it for my son,” Hall says. “It’s a great event for him, and it’s a great event for the Special Olympians because all this money goes to the Special Olympics of Virginia.”

And in true hero fashion, he gives most of the credit to his co-workers, who help him every year.

Related: Local Special Olympics rollerskating coach surprised at her job with People Taking Action award!

“These folks here with Virginia Natural Gas make this happen every year. We’ve been doing it a long time, and I hope it continues for a long time.”

the President of Virginia Natural Gas, Jim Kibler, was on hand to help us surprise Hall.

“Our philosophy is that the community should be a better place because we’re in it, and he lives that every day,” Kibler says.

We were also super excited to present him with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank!

And the 50 or so people who came out to honor Chris gave him a huge round of applause.

To nominate someone for a People Taking Action Award, email us at takingaction@wtkr.com.