Polar Plunge 2015 in Eugene
EUGENE, Ore. - They came wearing strange costumes to get cold and wet. They got what they came for even before they jumped into the Willamette River at Maurie Jacobs Park.
"This is the rainiest one we have ever had," said Emily Ressegger, the event manager for this year's plunge. "The weather is usually much better."
The cold rain didn't seem to dampen the spirits of the 27 teams who registered for the event. Squealing and laughing, they ran from the start line and jumped into the cold river and then almost as quickly ran back out to change into warm, dry clothes.
Police officers with their canines jumped in. A team dressed as the Where's Waldo character jumped in. A couple with toilet plungers stuck to the top of their heads jumped in. Villans and super heroes jumped in. Even a few zombies jumped in.
All this was for a good cause.
The funds raised by the event goes to help support the Oregon Special Olympics.
Prizes were given to the team that raised the most money, and prizes were given to the best costumes.
This year Sluggo, team mascot of the Eugene Emeralds baseball team, was on hand to rally the team's staff who raised over $3,500 for the event. The Emeralds lost a bet to rival team Columbus Clippers over the College Football National Championship and had to jump into the cold Willamette as part of the event.
Everyone got soaked, if not from jumping into the river, from the intermittent rain, but everyone also seemed to enjoy the event.
"It's for such a good cause," said Ressegger. "even if it does seem a bit crazy."