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Polar plunge set for this weekend

The first wave of swimmers of more than 300 frolic in the waters of Lake George during the 2010 Polar Plunge for Special Olympics. This year, more than $25,000 has been raised in advance of the event, set for Saturday, Nov. 19.

The first wave of swimmers of more than 300 frolic in the waters of Lake George during the 2010 Polar Plunge for Special Olympics. This year, more than $25,000 has been raised in advance of the event, set for Saturday, Nov. 19. Photo provided

— Considering the advance sign-ups, the upcoming annual Lake George Polar Plunge for Special Olympics may be a record-setting event, organizers said this week.

By Nov. 9, a total of 340 people representing more than 50 teams had already raised pledges of $25,000, event official Bill Toscano said. And more swimmers and donations are expected before the event, which covers the Capital Region, he added.

The plungers will splash, run and dive into the lake at Shepard’s Cove beginning at noon Saturday, Nov. 19 in one of more than a dozen similar across the state that raise money for Special Olympics programs in New York.

Last year, the Lake George plunge raised more than $80,000, and this year’s goal is set at $100,000.

A local team is leading the pack as the plunge heads into its last week. Max’s Buddies, headed by Lisa Jackoski and her son Max, a Special Olympian from Lake George High School, has raised more than $3,600, Toscano said.

Plungers must to raise $100 to get a commemorative sweatshirt. Others who seek to avoid the wet, chilly experience can also participate, Toscano said.

This year, the event features a “Chicken Coop.” Those raising $50 will get the chance to sit in a dry spot on the beach and consume refreshments and chicken wings while watching the plungers.

Plunge activities start at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18 with the annual Pre-Plunge Party at Shepard's Cove Restaurant. The party will run until midnight and will include food all night, a band starting at 8 p.m., raffles and a live auction.

Plunge registration starts Saturday at 9 a.m., and the morning will include a Zumba Warm-up, hot beverages, food, raffles and merchandise.

Plungers can sign up in advance on the Internet at polarplungeny.org or just show up with donations. For details, contact Kaila Horton at 388-0790, ext. 129 or at: khorton@nyso.org.

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