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1,000 hardy bathers take the Polar Plunge

How to spend a balmy December afternoon?

Take a dip in Lake Erie, of course.

That’s where you could find nearly 1,000 people Saturday, all participating in the Special Olympics Polar Plunge at Woodlawn Beach in Hamburg. The annual event was expected to raise $150,000 for the more than 68,500 Special Olympics athletes across the state.

Jennifer Schroeder, one of the athletes, was there with Rick Zimuda.

Joe Laurie of West Seneca, the one with the sign on his head, was there, too. His team, Dan’s Polish Plungers, raised the most money this year – $22,000.

Saturday’s high temperature was slightly above average for this time of year, reaching 44 degrees at Buffalo Niagara International Airport, while the Polar Plungers braved a lake temperature of 45 degrees.

Not bad timing, considering lake-effect snow showers and high temperatures in the low to mid 30s are forecast for the region by Wednesday afternoon.



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