23rd Annual Polar Plunge for Special Olympics

DULUTH, Minn.– The temperature may be nice for February but the water is still freezing, but that’s not stopping anyone from jumping in to support of a great cause.

Many brave souls are local, but country singer Frank Ray decided to take a cold dip before his performance at Amsoil Arena tonight.

“I’m so fired up to be here, it’s my first time in Duluth and I feel like we are doing Duluth the right way. Be out here as well and support the special Olympics, I’m just excited to be here,” said Country Music Singer Frank Ray.

The plunge is the biggest fundraiser for Special Olympics Minnesota, and there is over 20 events across the state.

Jumpers have different reactions when they hit the water, some cheer, some can’t wait to get to the warming tent and some, even go again.

“I’m wet, I’m cold, let’s do it again. You don’t feel anything, you just, you can’t breathe,” said Polar Plunge jumper Lee Utecht.

From crazy costumes to swim trunks, or jumping alone, or with a group, each jumper must raise at least 75 dollars to be a part of the event.

No matter how much money the person or group raised when they take the plunge, they can do so, knowing they’ve made an impact.

“Group of friends and a bunch of people from United Health care, and United Health care matches all of our donations so we raised almost 50 thousand dollars this year. These athletes are so amazing and the work that they put in, I’m proud to support them,” said Polar Plunge jumper Heather Callery.

Over it’s long history, the polar plunge in Duluth has raised a couple million dollars, and the charity’s largest contributor, Minnesota Law enforcement, had a number of officers jump in themselves, as did a country singer, Frank Ray.

“This is like nothing I’ve ever done before in my life, i was a police officer for 10 years before I decided to pursue country music full time, so we came out here to just support law enforcement and kind of talk to them and it just so happened they were doing this event, so it just kind of worked out, they asked me to be a part of it. I said absolutely, with out a second thought,” said Ray.

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