Snow Falls on Polar Plunge

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- Every year a brave group of people take the plunge into Craighead Forest Lake to help raise money for the Special Olympics, but this year the plunge is definitely polar.

"Couldn't have better weather for it," said Special Olympics NEA Field Representative Kimberly Shipley.

Group after group plungers in costume and in swim trunks ran through the snow and jumped into the cold water.

"We have a bunch of crazy people about the jump into Craighead Forest Lake.  It's all for Special Olympics," said Shipley.

"It's a good cause.  It's for special people with special needs and we're here to help out and have fun.  We're crazy," said participant Connie Hiers.

A lot of the plungers are doing this for freezing fun or because they're helping a special cause.  For others, this event is helping them achieve dreams.  For many like Johnny Black this isn't his first polar plunge.

"One time fourteen degrees snow on the ground ice in the lake," said Black.

Last year there were 80 plungers, and they expect to have the same number this year, despite the wintery weather.  They say the reason is clear.

"Everything is special about them.  They're just really great people and they can't always help themselves so we're here to help them," said Hiers.

The plan is to get in and get out.  As soon as they run out of the water, participants went into a warming tent.

"We have the EMT's.  Emerson comes out every year in case we do have any problems," said Shipley.

And for those huddled together, bundled up on the shore, support goes out to those who are jumping in.

Usually this event raises about 20 thousand dollars and all of that money goes to the Special Olympics.