High Turnout at Carbondale's Polar Plunge
CARBONDALE -- Polar Plungers lucked out with warmer weather Saturday as they took a dip at SIU's campus lake.
The annual Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run is the single largest year-round funraiser for the Special Olympics Illinois. More than 1,000 people showed up on campus, with 250 of them participating in the plunge.
Organizers and participants say it's a different kind of fundraiser and it keeps people coming back each year.
Program Director Paul Melzer says, "All the plunges across the state allow us to reach and serve more athletes."
Participants Katherine White and Allison Stout with the "Crime Fighting Plungers" team see jumping in the chilly water an easy task benefiting an important opportunity.
"Everybody should get a chance to compete, everbody. And if all we have to do is jump in a freezing lake, then we'll do it," the girls explain.
The event is expected to raise $54,000 this year. That's about $13,000 more than the year before.
Wind: 13 MPH
Humidity: 77 %