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Brave Souls Celebrate New Year With Polar Plunge Into Lake Michigan

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Mike Krauser Mike Krauser
Mike Krauser has been a reporter, anchor, producer, writer, managing...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Some said they do it for personal reasons. For others, a dip in icy waters of Lake Michigan is an excruciating New Years Day tradition to raise money.

About 30 people bundled up against the blowing snow made their way to the lake at North Avenue Beach this morning only to find that there was no water. The lake was ice-covered.

A guy in a speedo solved that problem, stomping around on the ice until he’d broken up enough for the polar plungers to submerge themselves in about a foot of water.

Most were doing it as a fundraiser for American Greyhound Rescue.

They’ve been doing it for years and said this year they’ve raised over $12,000 in pledges. Not all were there for the dogs, though.

One man said he’s done it every year for four years as a means of spiritual cleansing to start the new year.

A woman said she did it for her late husband, and shouted, “this is for you, Bill,” before getting into the icy water.

They described a feeling of a thousand pin-pricks on the skin after they got out of the water.
And then each ran to the warmth of their cars.

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