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The local Polar Bear Plunge was held Saturday at Kiwanis Lake in Plunkett Park.
Despite the sunny day and temperatures in the upper 30s, the water was still freezing cold for the plungers, as shown on their faces as they came out of the water. Some got out of the water as fast as possible, while others swam back to shore or splashed around in the water.
Most plungers came out of the water with smiles on their faces, but some had "OMG" expression on their faces. All-in-all they were ready to jump in and ready to get out and they all participated knowing the money they raised will help the Special Olympics.
Awards were presented for the school with the most students and money, the individual who raised the most money and the team that raised the most money. In addition, there is the Golden Plunger is presented to the team with the best costume, which is judged by the Special Olympics team the Unstoppable Dawgs.
This year's recipients of the Golden Plunger were the Missouri Military Academy "Super Heroes." Montgomery County R-2 Schools brought 49 participants and raised $3,700; the team with the most money was First Aid Kit, (aka CPR Services); and Chris Burle won the prize for the individual raising the most money, $1,080.
According to Tim Schuster, Northeast Area Director for Special Olympics Missouri, there were 160 plungers and the event raised $16,600 and counting. The amount will be recounted and verified said Schuster.
There is still some sponsorship money that has not been collected, which will add to the total. Schuster said he should have a final number by Wednesday.