BELLEVUE, Ky. -- Nearly 900 people made the plunge into a pool of frigid water Saturday morning in order to raise more than $170,000 for a good cause.
For the third straight year the annual Polar Plunge for Special Olympics was held outside the Joe's Crab Shack in Bellevue, Ky. The event, which is in its 15th year, supports sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities in the Greater Cincinnati area.
Event organizers say 880 brave men and women, some of whom wore costumes, showed up to support the Special Olympics in both Kentucky and Ohio. This was the ninth year the event benefited programs in both states.
In order to participate, people raised a minimum of $75 ($50 for those under 18) and then took a plunge into a pool that was set up in the restaurant’s parking lot.
More than $170,000 was raised this year, according to event organizers. That total bests last year's total of nearly $150,000, which was raised by a then-record number of 755 participants.
Scott Hildebrand and Kathryn Lovold were the top male and female fundraisers of 2014, earning them the titles of King and Queen of the Plunge for the third straight year. Prince and princess distinctions were also awarded based on fundraising totals.
Prizes were also awarded for the largest corporate, law enforcement, school and civic groups, with a top prize going to the group that raised the most money overall.
Many of the participants wore costumes and competed in the annual costume contest that opened the event. The winners receive the coveted "Golden Plunger" award.
The Kentucky-Ohio Plunge is one of six Polar Plunges that will be held in Kentucky this year, with other events in Lake Cumberland, Lexington, Louisville, Owensboro and Western Kentucky.