Cold for a cause: Locals brave icy water, raise funds for Special Olympics

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With grimaces forming on their faces, participants of the 2018 Polar Plunge cannonball into the city park pool as other participants look on. This year's Polar Plunge happened Saturday, and the event was able to raise $4,200. (Skylar Stephens | Collegian Media Group)

Brave participants in Manhattan’s Polar Plunge braved the cold waters of the Manhattan City Park swimming pool to raise funds for the Special Olympics of Kansas on Saturday.

The event raised $15,000.

Participants banded together in costumed teams for a fun run and tailgate from Texas Roadhouse before jumping into a pool of icy water in City Park.

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Giggling as a teammate plunges into the frigid water, a participant of the 2018 Polar Plunge braces for the icy splash coming his way. This year's Polar Plunge happened Saturday, and the event was able to raise $4,200. (Alex Todd | Collegian Media Group)

A team from the Riley County Police Department dressed in shower caps and loofahs.

“It’s important we have fun and make everyone laugh, even though inside we’re freezing,” one group member said.

Last year’s plunge took place at Bill Snyder Family Stadium on a 60 degree day.

Shawna, Taylor and Addison Oliver supported the Polar Plunge as a family for the third year in a row, but did not take the plunge themselves.

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As the icy water soaks into her shirt, a participant of the 2018 Polar Plunge rushes to escape the frigid pool. This year's Polar Plunge happened Saturday, and the event was able to raise $4,200. (Alex Todd | Collegian Media Group)

“Every year, we tell each other we’re going to get in the water even if it’s freezing, but this year isn’t any better,” Addison said. “We heard it’s supposed to snow, so I think this year we’ll watch everyone do it again.”

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article reported that last year’s Polar Plunge took place at Tuttle Creek State Park on a freezing day. It actually was hosted at Bill Snyder Family Stadium on a 60 degree day.

It also reported that the event raised $4,200. Overall, the event raised $15,000. The Manhattan Special Olympics team raised $4,2000 of the grand total.

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