19 Aug 2014
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VIDEO: Lake Valhalla Polar Plunge 2012

Participants jumped into the frigid lake Sunday to start the new year.

Residents packed the beach around noon on Sunday for the fifth annual Lake Valhalla Polar Plunge.

Plungers took turns leaping from a dock into the cold water.

The and were on hand keep an eye on participants as they plunged into the lake, which was about 40 degrees Fahrenheit, organizers said. The air temperature was around 50 degrees.

The polar plunge tradition started with a handful of friends and has since grown, organizer Michael Metz said. Organizers hope the tradition continues to grow and can be used to support organizations. This year, the fire department made a donation to support to Adrian Simone. The master of ceremonies—a sportscaster character named Charlie Butterworth, played by Metz—wore a "Battle" T-shirt to raise awareness for ArenaTilton, a fundraising organization that focuses on MS and cancer research. It was co-founded by township resident Christopher Arena, who took the plunge for the first time on Sunday.

The last two years, the lake was frozen over and people chipped an opening in the ice so people could jump in.

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