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2012 Polar Plunge in Spicer, Minn., sets record for participants, funds (video)

West Central Dairy Princesses Brenda Hinseth, left, and Julie Gatewood take the big plunge Saturday into the icy water of Green Lake in Spicer during the eighth annual event to raise money for the Special Olympics. (Tribune photo by Ron Adams)1 / 3
Willmar Police Chief David Wyffels is the first of more than 400 Polar Bear Plungers Saturday in Spicer. (Tribune photo by Ron Adams)2 / 3
Daniel Dobransky of Willmar takes a running leap Saturday into the icy water of Green Lake in Spicer during the eighth annual event to raise money for the Special Olympics. (Tribune photo by Ron Adams)3 / 3

WILLMAR -- More people participated and more money was raised in the 2012 Willmar-Spicer Polar Bear Plunge for Special Olympics on Saturday at Green Lake in Spicer, announced the Willmar Police Department and the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office.

This was the eighth annual plunge sponsored by law enforcement to benefit Special Olympics of Minnesota, said Police Capt. Jim Felt.

The number of plungers and money raised set a record.

The number of plungers was up from 353 in 2011 to 446 in 2012 and the amount of money raised increased from $62,804 in 2011 to $75,000 in 2012 according to preliminary figures. Final totals are still being tabulated.

Top individual fundraiser was Mary Beth Schmidt of Spicer.

Top corporate team was Green Lake Liquors.

Top law enforcement team was the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 23.

The top school team was Redwood Valley High School.

Top restaurant team was LuLu Bean's of Willmar.

Top open division team was Deagan and Mike's Dippy Doos.

WRAC-8 will be producing a video of the plunge as part of its "Do You Know'' program. Pictures of the plunge will be available online at www.plungemn.org within the next two weeks.

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