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Nearly 200 People Plunge into Lake for a Good Cause

BRANSON, Mo. -- Nearly 200 people braved the cold and plunged into Table Rock Lake today to benefit the Special Olympics.
BRANSON, Mo. --  Springfield police officers took quite the plunge today.  They jumped into Table Rock Lake with nearly 200 other people to raise money for Missouri's Special Olympics, and boy was it cold.

"We are gonna jump in 30-40 degree water with abunch of people," said Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams.  "That's a bonding experience."

It was a bonding experience that nearly 200 courageous people in the Ozarks won't forget.

"Get away from work and just interact," said Williams.  "Have fun with each other."

Around 168 people braved the cold and cold lake water to take the dive of a lifetime.

"I'm excited," Williams said.  "A little nervous.  I haven't done it before, but it's just swimming-- just a little chillier today than normal!"

29 Springfield police officers were among those making a splash all in support of Missouri's Special Olympics.

"I've been involved with Special Olympics for a long time and it's nice seeing the smiles on the faces of the athletes when they compete," said Williams.  "And this is money that helps them train to do these competitions."

"This is how we keep our program going," says Missouri Special Olympics Development Director Robin Anderson.  "And it helps pay for facilities and events and food and metals."

The lake may have only been 41 degrees at the time of the plunge, but these brave souls were still smiling beginning to end.

"They think you're crazy when they hear you're doing it," says Anderson.  "And then they hear it's for Special Olympics and they're like, 'Oh, I'll watch or give money-- that's a good cause."

"It's just a fun environment," says Williams.  "And completely outside the comfort zone of everybody here."

Participants had to raise at least $75 to even be able to plunge.

The event raised around $29,000 for Missouri's Special Olympics. 

Special Olympics is a year-round sports training and competition program for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

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