Polar Plunge draws hundreds of people into the Willamette River

The annual Oregon Law Enforcement Polar Plunge happened this weekend at Maurie Jacobs Park.

Posted: Feb. 10, 2018 5:46 PM
Updated: Feb. 10, 2018 8:05 PM

EUGENE, Ore. – The frigid, 45 degree Willamette River didn't keep hundreds of people from taking a plunge Saturday morning.

The annual Oregon Law Enforcement Polar Plunge is an annual fundraising event that benefits Special Olympics of Oregon.

The Polar Plunge was organized by several law enforcement agencies including the Eugene Police Department, Springfield Police Department, University of Oregon Police Department, and Lane County Sheriff’s Office. 

Other small groups, schools, and businesses also joined in the fun. KEZI 9 News also joined in on the frigid fun with several of our team members jumping into the river. 

Carmen Dowell showed up with her team made up of 14 members, the Cottage Grove Ice Cubes. She said this is their eighth year participating. 

“The Special Olympics Summer Games wouldn’t happen without us doing this fundraiser,” Dowell said. “If anyone hasn't been to the Summer Games, I highly encourage them to because they are life changing. By just going one time, I would fundraise and jump in the river every weekend.”

Special Olympics benefits more than 13,000 athletes. Eugene is one of five Oregon cities hosting the annual fundraiser.

The Plunge is made possible through the support of various sponsors. KEZI 9 News is a proud sponsor.

Make sure to check out the photo gallery, captured by Morning Anchor Bryan Anderson. 

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