A brisk wind and a bright blue sky greeted participants to the 2013 Polar Plunge at Lake Sainte Louise Saturday. The fundraiser is one of 14 Polar Plunges held across Missouri to benefit Missouri Special Olympics.
The event started with a parade around the Lake Saint Louis Community Association grounds to show off the 335 participants and their colorful, creative and often crazy costumes, which included movie characters, superheroes, Disney princesses and a man riding a duck.
The first heat featured Lake Saint Louis Alderman Kathy Schweikert as a mermaid and her dog Heidi as a shark.
Local police forces fought it out for top fundraising honors. The St. Charles City Police Department, under Team Captain Jason Chapple, raised $5,753. The team dressed as characters from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, complete with Oompa Loompas, Willy Wonka, Violet Beauregarde and Veruca Salt.
Coincidentally, a separate team from the St. Charles County Sheriff's Department that also participated were also dressed as Willy Wonka characters. Neither team knew about the other's plans.
In second place was Team O'Fallon, which included O'Fallon police officers, police explorers, friends and family—all dressed as clowns. Team O'Fallon, under Team Captain Jeff Chapple, raised $4,560.
Team 4 Terry, under Team Captain Corey Nolan, was in third place with $3,720.
The number of participants was down slightly from 2012, with 335 compared to last year's 462. Last year's event raised $95,980.
The next Polar Plunge in the the St. Louis area will be held Feb. 23 at Creve Coeur Lake. Check the Missouri Special Olympics website for more details.
- The Plunger's-Eye View