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Hundreds participate in polar plunge at Woodlawn Beach

The Polar Plunge was held to raise money to send athletes to the New York Special Olympics.

BLASDELL, N.Y. — Hundreds of brave souls made a splash to support local Special Olympics athletes. 

About 200 local students participated in a Polar Plunge at Woodlawn Beach Friday night. The goal was to raise money to support 500 Special Olympic athletes for the upcoming games. 

This is the 15th year the event has been held. 

"It's surprising the amount of funds it takes to sponsor these athletes but secondly the generosity of the people that have shown up and the funding that was raised was definitely surprising," said Jim Koch, Chairman of the Polar Plunge. 

So far, they've raised $50,000 for the Special Olympics. 

On Saturday, December 4, over 800 people are expected to participate in another Polar Plunge at Woodlawn Beach.

By the end of the day, it's expected that organizers will collect $250,000 to support the New York Special Olympics. 

“Polar Plunges are some of the most valuable fundraisers we host each year,” said Special Olympics New York President and CEO Stacey Hengsterman. “They’re an excellent opportunity for people from all over the community to come together and support our athletes. If you join us, you’ll see why so many people return year after year.”

Individuals and teams who’d like to join this year’s Plunge may do so by registering online at polarplungeny.org/Buffalo. For more information, please contact Erica Raepple at 716-909-6444 or eraepple@nyso.org