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A polar plunge to help those with special needs

People ran into the Susquehanna River to raise awareness and money for the York County Special Olympics.

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — It's never too cold to help out a good cause, right? That's how some people felt in York County this morning as they plunged into the Susquehanna River. 

It was the 12th Annual Polar Bear Plunge that is helping athletes with special needs.

As quickly as folks plunged, they soon ran out of the river. 

"Me, personally? It's always been near and dear to me. It's just these kids have so much heart. When I think I'm having a bad day, they have smiles on their faces all the time," said Phil Roberts, a participant. 

"It's our largest fundraiser so our athletes can participate in our 14 sports," said Robyn Liggins-Smith, one of the organizers.

Organizers say money raised from the event also goes towards uniforms, training, and transportation for the athletes. 

"It's one of those pull your boot straps up and appreciate everything you have. i know these kids do," added Roberts.

Many of the participants are York County police officers - some current, some retired.

Roberts is on team 'Blue Line Plungers.'

"This isn't too bad, but I don't particularly like the cold which is why I am wearing this warm gear," said Roberts.

Not only does the event help raise money and awareness of people living with special needs, it's also building relationships between law enforcement and the community. 

"The police sometimes get a negative image from the public, but there's a lot of guys, they worked all night, they haven't been all night, but they're down here and they're going to go swimming, then they're going to run home, get some sleep, cause they have to be back to work," explained Roberts.

When asked what it takes to participate? 

"A  person with a good heart," said Liggins-Smith.

For how to donate, click here. 

For more information on the Special Olympics, click here.


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