Crowds take freezing swim in 'Polar Plunge'

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DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) – Illinoisans took a dip in Lake Decatur’s freezing water for a cause.

Crowds gathered on the shore of Lake Decatur Saturday morning with the goal of having fun and raising money for the Special Olympics. The Polar Plunge is an event Decatur has hosted for several decades.

The water was chilly, with the temperature sitting at 45 degrees in the lake at the start.

“I came out here on a dare,” plunger Linda Keyes said.

Each plunger has to raise $100 in donations before taking part in the plunge. Organizers say 100 percent of the money raised goes towards training and competition for 42,000 Special Olympics athletes.

Wacky outfits could be seen across the Lake Decatur shore, including everything from Star Wars to chicken costumes.

Illinois will see over 20 different Polar Plunge events taking place from now until the end of March.

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