Frigid temperatures and crazy costumes: The 8th annual Polar Plunge
EUGENE, Ore. - Police officers and deputies form Lane County, along with local businesses and many others, hooked up at a Eugene park on Saturday morning to brave the chilly Willamette River.
Event coordinators believe it was Eugene's largest Polar Plunge in its eight-year history, and for another year members dressed up to jump in the frigid waters for a great cause.
The air temperature was 41 degrees, and it closely matched the water temperature in the Willamette.
Teams of people held their breath and made a run for the Willamette, where coordinators say 340 people made the plunge, setting a Eugene Polar Plunge record.
While the costumes and braving the cold waters was the fun part, those who participated realize it means so much more.
"I'm just happy to be a part of that," said Jordan Salazar, part of the Fred Meyer Cultural Council. "I've been a big proponent of the Special Olympics, and it's awesome to see how much fund raising we can get going."
Each person taking part in the plunge raised at least $50 for the Special Olympics. Eugene is one of the five Oregon cities hosting the event this year, and the main venue for the Special Olympics will be in Corvallis on July 14th and 15th.
Proceeds from the plunge help athletes in the Lane County area travel to the event.