Polar Plunge "coldest in years" - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Polar Plunge "coldest in years"

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Posted By: Camila Orti
corti@klkntv.com

Despite temperatures dipping well into the negatives, a couple hundred people still jumped into an icy Holmes Lake to raise money for a good cause.

"This is the seventh year we've been doing it and it's by far the coldest," Kerry Zingg of Lincoln said.

The 9th annual Polar Plunge took place at Holmes Lake Park Saturday morning to benefit Special Olympics Nebraska.

"I think you gotta have something a little off to come out here, but it's for a good cause and that's why I think people are out here," Organizer and Lancaster Co. Deputy Bill Ziemer said.

From groups dressed in summery swimsuits to Clue board game costumes, 40 teams and about 200 people braved the frigid cold to raise more than $33,000.

Nearly 30 University of Nebraska cheer and dance team members kicked off the plunge by getting into the water first, a tradition they've been a part of for several years.

"There wasn't ice on the lake like there is this year," Kyla Richardson said.

Rescue crews say the water temperature was right around 33 degrees, while the exterior temperature with wind chill was around -10 degrees at the time of the plunge.

Lincoln Fire & Rescue officials were standing by just in case. They advised participants to get in and get out as quickly as possible; conditions like these could lead to hypothermia within a matter of minutes.

Numbers were only slightly down from last year, but organizers hope warmer temperatures will bring more people out next time.

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