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Polar Plunge teams raise $72,000 for Special Olympics

Bryson Wachter of Spicer takes a leap into the frigid water Saturday at Green Lake during the 10th annual Polar Plunge benefit for the Special Olympics. (Tribune photo by Ron Adams)

WILLMAR — More than 300 hardy volunteers raised $72,000 this weekend at the 10th annual Polar Plunge for the Special Olympics.

The Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office and Willmar Police Department hosted the annual event at Green Lake as part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run program. Proceeds assist Special Olympics athletes and teams in attending competitions, sports training and life skills training throughout Minnesota.

There were 360 volunteers who braved the cold Saturday and jumped into the icy waters of Green Lake. The air temperature at the time of the event was about 6 degrees with a 16 mph wind, creating a wind chill of 12 below.

The ice was 25 inches thick at the plunge location. Each ice block removed from the lake weighed about 1,700 pounds.

Local law enforcement agencies issued a thank-you to the many plungers, spectators, volunteers and donating organizations that participated in the event. “Without the excellent community support shown, this event would not be possible,” they said in a statement this weekend.

Photos will be posted in the near future at under the Willmar/Spicer plunge page.

Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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