Polar Plunge 'very cold, but very fun'

Polar Plunge 'very cold, but very fun' »Play Video
Participants in the 3rd annual Polar Plunge in Eugene, Ore., a fundraiser for Special Olympics. Over $30,000 was raised this year.

EUGENE, Ore. - Screams, laughter and even the occasional obscenity erupted from Maurie Jacobs Park on Saturday as an estimated 300 brave Eugene residents ran straight into the Willamette River as part of the 3rd annual Polar Plunge. >>> Photo Gallery

The "plungers," as they call themselves, each raised a minimum of $50 to participate in the event, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Special Olympics Oregon. 

Attendance was at an all-time high this year, according to Polar Plunge organizer Allison Ellermeier, with donations topping $30,000 dollars.

“Law enforcement around the country raise money and awareness for Special Olympics Oregon,” said Ellermeier. 

Although some were shivering uncontrollably, once they ran out of the Willamette river, onto the safety and relative warmth of dry land, most seemed to be pleased to have participated in the event that raised funds for such a worthy cause.

“It was fun,” said a woman from a group of participants representing the University of Oregon Law School. “It was very cold, but very fun.”