COLUMBIA — Community members joined Special Olympics athletes Saturday in jumping into Stephens Lake for the annual Polar Plunge.
Participants in the fundraiser wear costumes and run, walk, or crawl into freezing bodies of water around the country to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics programs.
In Columbia, participants of all ages came out in the 35-degree weather to raise money for more than 15,000 athletes in each of the 21 sports that are part of Special Olympics Missouri. The goal for the fundraiser was $77,000; before the event, $69,578 had been raised.
Here is a gallery of some of the participants and how they described their costumes.
Kendall Scheidt, "Plunger"
Ian Burhanan, "Lifeguard"
Adam Weber, "Astronaunt"
Melanie Stock, "S'mores & more"
Connie Kingsley, "Big Tree Cycling Club"
Alice Foree, "Sock Monkey"
David Hinkle, "Suit-N-Tie"
Alex Eppenauer, "Viking"
Shelby Brown, "Tourist"
Ashley Atkinson, 13, "Zombie Girl Scout"
Kelly Tannehill, "Blind Mice"
Jessica Carter, "'80s workout"
Shawn Mclellan, "Caveman"
Supervising editor is Brian Kratzer.