Braving cold waters for Special Olympics

By Audrey Wise

February 22, 2014 Updated Feb 23, 2014 at 12:05 AM CDT

BLOOMINGTON, Ill -- After weeks of subzero temperatures some folks really took advantage of warmer temperatures Saturday by plunging into Miller Park Lake.

About 1,000 people lined up for the 8th annual Polar Plunge. Organizers say this year's plunge is by far their biggest.

All the money raised goes toward the local Special Olympic Athletes.

Participants say it's a chilling and unique way to help others.

"It was cold but then you just went numb so you didn't even feel it," said Pontiac High School junior Kelly Fraher.

Polar Plunge coordinator Jill Speer said, "It takes a lot of bravery, but their supporting the 21,300 athletes of Special Olympics Illinois and their brave to go into the water. The water is 35 degrees today."

There are 20 polar plunges throughout the state, which raise about $2 million for Special Olympics.