February 5, 2016

Popular plunge not hindered by freezing temps

(File photo: Splash and Dash)

(File photo: Splash and Dash)

It was so cold at North Beach in Racine for the annual jump into Lake Michigan, organizers of the annual event used a small bulldozer to move the ice away from the shoreline Tuesday to make it a bit easier to get into the icy water.

About 100 people, young and old, and dressed in everything from bikinis to wet suits with a few costumes sprinkled in, braved the 32 degree water and an air temperature of about 15 degrees to take part in the annual Splash and Dash event.

A 15-year-old Lindsey Flynn of Racine was there for her first polar plunge and was expecting the worst. “Really cold … I really don’t know … kinda scared.”

Mom Tina Flynn said she wouldn’t let 11-year-old daughter Lauren in the water for the annual custom, even through she wanted to, be relented when it came to Lindsey this year. “She’s gonna be 16. She wanted to go last year, I said ‘no’, this year she’s goin’.”

And was Lindsey surprised by how cold it was? “No, but my feet are like … dead.”

The event, which started 23 years ago, also served as a fund raiser for three local charities. According to the event’s webpage, more than $20,000 was raised each of the last 3 years for basic necessities of food and shelter in Racine communities.

Janet Hoff, WRJN

AUDIO: Janet Hoff report :45

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