Watch Viking Marcus Sherels Take the Polar Plunge
Rochester, MN (KROC AM) -- Hundreds of people turned out to watch and cheer on a record number of "plungers" Saturday for the annual Polar Plunge for Special Olympics.
According to Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson, 920 jumpers braved single digit temperatures and raised a record $243,000. With matching donations and late donations, that total is expected to climb to $250,000.
This was the 15th annual local Polar Plunge and the pledges this year will increase the overall total to nearly $2 million.
It was cold again this year with temperatures barely above zero but unlike last year, the plungers did not have to endure a biting wind.
Among those jumping this year was Rochester native and Vikings player Marcus Sherels, his first ever plunge. He later said he will consider returning next year. Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose also jumped for the first time - plunging side by side with Torgerson. One of Torgerson's department leaders - Captain Macey Tesmer - also made her 200th plunge.
KROC AM's Rich Peterson and Tracy McCray emceed the event which was held at Foster-Arends Park in Rochester.
The top individual plunger was Randy Vath, who raised $9,135. Students from Century High School who jumped raised more than $6300. Check the Polar Plunge website for a complete summary of the large contributors.