ANCHORAGE, Alaska — More than 1,200 Alaskans jumped into the icy waters of Goose Lake Saturday to raise money for Special Olympics Alaska.
"It's all about having fun and doing the right thing, supporting people with intellectual disabilities," said Jim Balamaci, Special Olympics Alaska's president and CEO.
This is the third year of the Polar Plunge event, and it grows by hundreds of people every year.
"I did it last year and it's just so much fun to see all of the people out here," said jumper Talia Robinson, seconds after she emerged from the water.
Over 5,000 people pledged, for a total of over $300,000. Balamaci says the money will go toward Special Olympics athlete training and competition.
"What better way to contribute," said jumper Alina Veilleux.
This year was much warmer than the Plunge's two previous years, where jumpers took the plunge in subzero temperatures.
"It is going to be a piece of cake today -- last year it was 35 degrees colder than this," said Anchorage Police Department Chief Mark Mew. Mew and a team of law enforcement officers took the Plunge and raised $1,500.