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For the sixth straight year, hundreds of Minnesotans jumped into the icy waters of Crooked Lake to raise funds for Special Olympics Minnesota and its Anoka County chapter. Despite an air temperature of around 21°F on February 24th, 575 people took the plunge.“We take the jump into the water every year and that is exhilarating and uplifting and it is really fun to see that us doing this is make making a life change for the athletes,” said Sergeant Anne Bluml with the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office.Participates approached a hole cut into the ice wearing anything from superhero costumes to summer beach wear. Then they counted to three, held their breath and jumped.“Really cold!” said Special Olympic Athlete Chase Gregory who has made the jump four times.The Anoka County Polar Plunge raised a total of $154,074, supporting training and competitions for adults and children with intellectual disabilities. Statewide, 24 individual Polar Plunge events raise millions of dollars annually.“For many of them the one time a week they can come in, be with their peers with similar abilities etcetera and be able to enjoy life without having any of those social pressures or discriminations against them,” said Chad Blank, Head of Delegation for the Anoka Country Cougars.Although the experience left everyone involved shivering until they reached a heated tent, many said they will be back next year.“I think that it is part of being a true Minnesotan to jump in that water and it is so exhilarating. It’s just a fun experience to be able to do it,” said Bluml.Half of the money raised at Crooked Lake will support around 150 athletes in Anoka County.