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      150 Local participants step up to take the Polar Plunge

      <p>Around 150 participants volunteered to plunge into the icy waters of Forest Lake in Thousand Hills State Park Saturday afternoon.</p>

      The unbearable winter weather didn't stop some locals from stepping up for Missouri Special Olympics Saturday afternoon.

      Around 150 participants volunteered to plunge into the icy waters of Forest Lake in Thousand Hills State Park.

      It's all part of the Polar Plunge tradition.

      This year's theme was Mardi Gras, so teams sported wacky costumes and put their brave faces on as they prepared to plunge.

      ??Just watching people go in and out, it's a lot of fun seeing the reactions on their faces and stuff like that, being a retired plunger, I know it's really cold so it's fun watching everyone else go in and out, and just the fun everyone's having,?? said Tom Johnson, Kirksville??s Polar Plunge Committee Chair.

      Organizers didn't have a final total Saturday afternoon, but they think came pretty close to reaching their $25,000 goal.

      All proceeds benefit local sports training and competition programs for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

      Next year marks the 10th anniversary for Kirksville's Polar Plunge, and many participants are already looking forward to it again.