Hundreds of people were 'Freezin' For A Reason' today,
as they participated in this year's Polar Plunge at
Those who take the plunge, raise money for the Special
and then run into the freezing cold water.
News 8's Brittany Schmidt has more from today's event.
For many plungers...taking a
dip in the icy-cold Mississippi
River is tradition.
But it was definitely a day of *firsts for a few in
This year, La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat pledged to take
his first dive, but admits he was a little nervous...
this is my first year actually plunging.
La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat says he's donated money
in the past...
but wants to do something a little extra this year.
This has become such a huge event and so great for
La Crosse and our community so I wanted to offer my
small show of support by getting wet and cold today.
But he says it's not without a little hesitation.
I'll admit I am a little afraid of being very very
cold and just what the reaction will be so hopefully
I don't embarrass myself.
Mayor Kabat wasn't about to do it by himself...
so he asked La Crosse City Council members to join
but only three said yes.
I've fallen in cold water before, but this is the
first time I am doing it intentionally.
With only four brave souls in this group.
what are the chances someone will back out?
They can't now, the ramifications of chickening out
now owuldbe bad for them so they better make sure
they are right there.
We've got a good group, it's just gonna be a matter
of how far in are we going to go.
If you ask Mayor Kabat...he says all the way.
We are going all the way under, none of this up to
our knees business, we are going all the way under.
So let's see if he lived up to his promise.
NAT POP - any words here kerry? good luck mayor.
I'm thinking of tropical thoughts right now.
SHOW HIM RUNNING INTO WATER
NAT POP -- Wow that is cold...
NAT POP -- all the way under guys..."
And of course, he kept his promise...
I had to do that, I couldn't just go half way, you
gotta do it all out.
do you regret doing it at all? No, I look forward
to doing it again next year.
It sounds like Mayor Kabat already signed up to take
the dive next year too.
Great time, great cause and great group of people
In La Crosse, Brittany Schmidt, News 8
Organizers say it was the coldest Polar Plunge of
So a big congratulations to all those who braved the
cold weather and plunged into the Mississippi River
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke, also
It was Burke's first polar plunge, as well.
Burke took the same approach Mayor Kabat did, and
*dove* all the way under the water.
She says she's happy to help raise money and awareness
for such a great cause.
Area residents also got involved in today's Polar
Dash, that benefits the Special Olympics, as well.
Several dozen people ran in the 5-K run-walk before
jumping into the Polar Plunge.
Scott Prairie was among those doing both the Dash
and the plunge.
This year was his first time getting involved, and
he says it's for a good cause.
To help out the organization, the La Crosse special
olympics, the organization, and all the athletes and
then for training, and uniforms and all for when they
go to area district tournaments.
His father Greg has participated in the Polar events
for three years, and he says it was exciting to watch
Scott get involved.
Greg says the weekend means a lot to athletes involved
in Special Olympics.
I think for the athletes, Special Olympics allows
them the opportunity to participate both athletically
and socially, otherwise they
wouldn't have these opportunities.
And the monies we raise at these types of events provide
those types of opportunities."