Local club holds first Polar Plunge to benefit St. Jude

By Beau Ebenezer

January 4, 2014 Updated Jan 4, 2014 at 11:22 PM CDT

CHILLICOTHE, Ill. -- Saturday's temps were mild compared to what we can expect the next couple of days. But it certainly did not feel like it for those taking a plunge into the bone-chilling Illinois River.

But it certainly did not feel like it for those taking a plunge into the bone-chilling Illinois River.

It was part of Chillicothe's inaugural Polar Plunge hosted by the Peoria Casting Club.

Every year, the casting club holds a brunch with proceeds benefiting various charities.

For the first time ever they decided to add a fund-raising plunge into the river.

Nearly 20 jumpers supported the cause by taking the frigid leap.

"It does my heart good," said plunger, John Fullen. "My heart goes out to all the kids. We can't do enough for the babies. We just can't."

"We are hoping we get a good enough turn-out this year, so they will go home and tell their friends," said Peoria Casting Club Board Member, Josh Jackson. "Then next year, we hope it will get bigger and bigger."

The club hopes to raise $700 from the plunge alone.

Proceeds will directly benefit the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.