Photo by Mary Mumbrue

Although the air temperature was well into the 40s on Feb. 19, the water of Lake Michigan hovered just above freezing, reportedly 34 degrees, as several brave souls dipped into the lake at Clark Street Beach in the first of 22 Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunges.

The league of about 50 Super Plungers includes law enforcement officials, Special Olympics representatives and others. They planned to continue plunging once an hour for 24 hours until 1 p.m. on Feb. 20. Each Plunger was required to raise a minimum of $100 in donations.  

Friends, colleagues and family members greeted the plungers as they speedily emerged from the frigid lake.

Some described their feelings. “My feet and toes are totally numb” and “It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be,” they said as they retreated into a warming tent to await the next plunge, less than an hour away.