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updated: 1/2/2014 5:31 AM

163 people brave snow, frigid water for Polar Bear Plunge in Waukegan

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  • Video: Waukegan Polar Plunge

  • Brad Paschall of Waukegan feels victorious as he braves the freezing Lake Michigan water celebrating the new year during the 15th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Waukegan Municipal Beach.

       Brad Paschall of Waukegan feels victorious as he braves the freezing Lake Michigan water celebrating the new year during the 15th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Waukegan Municipal Beach.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Anel Garza of Waukegan dons her tutu costume as she makes a quick run through the freezing Lake Michigan water celebrating the new year during the 15th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Waukegan Municipal Beach.

       Anel Garza of Waukegan dons her tutu costume as she makes a quick run through the freezing Lake Michigan water celebrating the new year during the 15th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Waukegan Municipal Beach.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 

The weather outside was frightful but the faces on people after they emerged from the freezing Lake Michigan water was so delightful Wednesday during the 15th annual Polar Bear Plunge at the Waukegan Municipal Beach.

More than 163 brave souls registered for the New Year's Day charity event, according to Julie Schneider, manager of special recreation for the Waukegan Park District.

Proceeds from the Polar Bear Plunge will be used to provide scholarship funding to qualified participants and to outfit Waukegan special recreation athletes with appropriate uniforms and equipment, as well as to cover their entry fee and travel expenses.

Longtime plunger John Sota of Zion said "this is the best weather so far, It's wonderful."

Plungers Dianne Cullen of Grayslake with her grandson, Xavier, 11, of Lindenhurst, donned crazy costumes, such as lobster heads. Cullen said her grandson prepared for the big day by taking cold showers all week.

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