BUFORD, Ga. — How about jumping into a very cold Lake Lanier?
The thought gives many goose bumps, but the annual Polar Plunge proves that braving chilly waters can help a good cause.
On Saturday, Feb. 16, organizations from throughout Georgia met at Lake Lanier for the Polar Plunge. The event celebrates the fundraising success for Special Olympics of Georgia.
Plungers from various police and fire departments, churches, high schools and more gathered in crazy costumes for a contest and lined up for the plunge into the cold lake.
Northview High School student Lisa Matsumura participated with fellow students.
“It was very cold jumping into lake, but as a swimmer, it was a lot of fun and I got to experience this with my friends. I will definitely be back next year and bring even more friends,” Matsumura said.
The Johns Creek Police Department was the organization that raised the largest amount of money this year, with more than $9,000 raised for Special Olympics of Georgia. Decked out in their black Johns Creek T-shirts, the cops didn’t take part in the costuming, but still took the plunge.
“It was freezing,” said Johns Creek Police Cpl. Jimmy Marshall. “It must have been the coldest day yet. But it was fun.”
Marshall, who has taken part for the past four years, was the single-largest fundraising individual for the plunge.
He raised $7,075, and the police department as a team raised $9,800.
“It’s just a great cause,” Marshall said. “I love doing things for the kids.”
Through the help of every participant and organization, Special Olympics of Georgia has received $750,000 in donations.
Polar Plunge celebrated these achievements, but participants said they strive to aim higher next year.