Hundreds of frigid Marylanders plunged into the Chesapeake Bay on Saturday morning for a good cause—more than $2 million was raised for Special Olympics Maryland.
More than 12,000 people participated in the 17th annual Plungefest at Sandy Point State Park on Saturday. Among the plungers not in the water this year was Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, according to The Capital. It was the second year running that Flacco opted out of the annual plunging fundraiser. Of course, he's hot on the heels of the Super Bowl, so Marylanders may cut him some slack.
This year's plunge was also attended by the Baltimore Ravens caravan, which included Ravens cheerleaders and band members, who serenaded frigid plungers with team fanfare.
According to the official Plungefest website, the Maryland State Police-hosted event has raised a total of $1.8 million so far this year. But Special Olympics Maryland spokeswoman Linda Ellingsworth said fundraising crossed the $2 million threshold during the Saturday event, and projections were set on $2.8 million in donations this year. More than 12,000 participated in this year's plunge, she said.
Anne Arundel County Schools are among the most active and vocal Plungefest fundraisers, and this year has proved no different.
South River High School is at the head of the pack among local schools, having raised $33,065 in donations. The high school is just ahead of Arundel High School which has raised $28,390.
Severna Park Middle School's team, the Ospreys, raised $5,418, more than $400 over their team goal. They also surpassed their member goal of 40, with 48 members recruited.
But local students will have to wait until this Friday to participate in their own plunge. The annual Frigid Friday event, where students from across the state make their own, separate plunge, was postponed for Anne Arundel County students due to the exam schedule.
Want to see how each school performed in donations this year? Check the official Plungefest 2013 website.
Meteorologist Justin Berk edited footage together from his own plunging experience this year, set to music, and posted it to YouTube.
"I love cold weather, I love snow. But I hate cold water," Berk said.
These plungers captured footage of the plunge from the opening anthem to the first dip in the water.
And don't miss watching the plunge from a bird's-eye-view with this YouTube video, captured from a remote-controlled helicopter.