Monday, March 24, 2014
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Nearly 200 plungers 'Freezin' for a Reason'

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[March 24, 2014]  It was a genuine Polar Plunge at Lincoln Lakes on Saturday. Winter was still lingering following the coldest and snowiest season in Lincoln's history.

Just a week earlier, organizers were speculating if the plunge was going to happen, as the lake was covered with 6-inch-thick ice. Jokingly, it was suggested it might be necessary to cut little dunk holes.

So it was authentic for the 193 Polar Plungers this year, as they faced near-freezing water and a near-freezing wind chill. The plungers earned their bragging rights to the event's motto, "Freezin' for a Reason."

How did they manage?

Some of the plungers warmed themselves like warriors going into battle, with a war whoop. They began screaming at the starting shot, lunging forward on the sandy beach, and continued screaming before their feet even hit water, continuing loudly with gleeful screeches, hoots and hollers, going for the goal of reaching the buoyed rope  the louder, the better; the few quiet ones caused some consternation.

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Once out, sopping wet and dripping, the plungers headed single file at a steady pace for the nearby heated tents.

But, no grumbling would be heard this day about the cold of this winter, or the water, or anything else for that matter. This hardship was bravely borne for a cause: to support the Special Olympics. This day represented cold hands, cold feet and cold bodies, but 193 strongly beating warm hearts.

Following a change of clothes in the warming tents, participants were bused back to the Knights of Columbus for a celebration with hot food, snacks and the presentation of the 2014 awards.

[Information from Joanie Keyes, Area 10 Special Olympics director]

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