Cool School Plunge kicks off Friday to raise money for Special O - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Cool School Plunge kicks off Friday to raise money for Special Olympics Minnesota

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -

Minnesota isn't called the Bold North for nothing. 

Area students were freezin' for a reason Friday morning as they braved the cold and took part in Rochester's Cool School Plunge, hoping to raise thousands of dollars for Special Olympics Minnesota.

The two-day event began with students taking on the plunge with their classmates at Foster Arend Park. The Cool School Plunge gives schools a chance to challenge other schools to see who's the coolest in town.

It took a lot of guts to be a polar plunger, as it was about eight degrees outside at the time. The water was about 33 degrees.

"The coming out part is a little challenging, but we got an awesome heated tunnel up here that people get in and get warmed up. It's fantastic," said Sheriff Kevin Torgerson, who was leading and instructing the students.

Each participant had to raise $75 to be eligible for the plunge to support of thousands of special Olympics Minnesota athletes to train and compete.

"This is my sixth year plunging, and I'm a Special Olympics Gymnastics Coach, and this year I'm plunging with my school," said Vienna Qualey. "I lost an athlete and it was important for me to involve my entire community."

There were about 100 students Friday morning from different area schools to take the plunge. Last year, the Cool School Plunge raised approximately $275,000.

The polar plunge begins Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Foster Arend Park.

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