Roughly 1,000 people took a plunge into San Francisco’s frigid bay as part of the third annual Polar Plunge.
Families and costume-wearing participants filled the bleachers at San Francisco’s Aquatic Park, where they waited patiently to rush into the water in support of the Special Olympics of Northern California.
San Bruno native Jack Torres, 5, suffers from cerebral palsy, an illness that affects the functions of the brain and nervous system. Troy and Danielle, Jack’s parents, dipped into the water with him to support other families with similar circumstances.
The Special Olympics of Northern California is a program that allows more than 14,000 athletes with disabilities to participate in free sports training and competitions in Northern California.
Schools from all over Northern California were in attendance; including middle schools, high schools and colleges. Members of the San Francisco Police Department also participated in the event, alongside companies and families.
According to Ilisa Kessler, vice president of marketing and strategic initiatives, this year’s Polar Plunge raised about $240,000.
“I think people want to make a difference in their community, and when it’s something that’s fun and easy to do it makes it that much better,” Kessler said.