Polar Plunge raises money for Special Olympics - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Polar Plunge raises money for Special Olympics

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WAUSAU (WAOW)--Hundreds of people plunged into icy water today, all for a cause.

"Today we decided to come here because this is our last winter in Wisconsin," Marlene Serrano said.

Serrano, like her friends, is an international student studying at NTC in Wausau. They are from all over Central America, and say they have never seen anything like this.

"This is something unique. This is our last chance, that's why we had to do it," Serrano said.

And they're not the only ones. Organizers say around 600 people jumped into freezing waters on Saturday at Sunnyvale Park.

"Our plungers are crazy. They will come out in special costumes. It's a show in itself," event coordinator Alyssa Matelski said.

Event leaders say more than $100,000 was raised for the Special Olympics.

"All the money we raise here stays in our area and it helps support our over 1,000 athletes we have in our area with their sports competitions year round," Matelski said.

And there was no shortage of people helping out for the cause.

"Wausau is a great community. Our athletes are awesome. It's amazing how many people came out here today," Matelski said.

And even though the international students only have one semester left in the area, they say one thing is for sure.

"We love Wisconsin,"Serrano said.

Officials say since the Wisconsin plunge started 13 years ago, more than $12 million has been raised.

Online Reporter: Cassandra Vinch

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