There were plenty of smiles, laughs, and no shortage of “eeks!” Saturday when hundreds of hearty souls dipped their toes, and the rest of their bodies, into the frigid waters of Olson Lake in Rockford to raise money for Special Olympics. Some even gave the shirt off their backs to help, going polar bare-chested into the drink on a day when the high in Rockford didn’t even crack 30 degrees. The Olson Lake plunge benefits nearly 1,800 Special Olympians in Region A, which encompasses Lee, Whiteside, Ogle, Carroll, Bureau and seven other counties. Nearly 500 people in all took part. Teams from Dixon included Team Shrinkage, the Dixon Police and Fire team; Kreider Polar Plungers, made up of Special Olympic athletes and coaches; The Stables, a 20-member team lead by owner Ryan Marshall; and Plungers, lead by Eligh Barton; Numb Nuts, lead by Sam and Carie Ramirez. Joe Ghibellini of Mount Morris also took part.
– Photos by Alex T. Paschalfirstname.lastname@example.org