SULLIVAN'S ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - The Special Olympics South Carolina raised about $20,000 as of Monday morning from people who took the polar plunge today on Sullivan's Island.
Temperatures were in the 30's and it felt even colder, but participants were still eager to take the plunge to start the new year.
"It's a great way to start the year," polar plunge participant Nick Bosley said. "It's a great way to do something out of the ordinary, something to really just wake you up and start the new year."
Bosley and his friends come dressed to the theme of Willy Wonka every year.
This is their third year taking the plunge, but the first time they've seen temperatures like those on Monday.
"This is a true polar plunge," President of Special Olympics South Carolina Barry Coats said. "We always get made fun of from our friends up north who are cutting holes in the ice. So this year I can actually send them some bundled up pictures."
People taking the plunge were encouraged to donate to the Special Olympics.
That money goes toward funding programs for Special Olympics athletes. Those athletes at Monday's plunge were quick to say thanks.
"Everyone gets to have fun and it's a good cause," Special Olympics athlete Kylie McFarland said.
Coats says donations people make to the Special Olympics will make a lasting impact on the athlete's lives.
"If you support us, you're certainly changing somebody's life...without question," Coats said.