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Thousands take the plunge, raising more than $1M for Special Olympics

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Virginia Beach, Va. - Thousands of people took an icy plunge into the Atlantic Saturday afternoon to support Special Olympics Virginia.

This year's Polar Plunge event at the Virginia Beach oceanfront raised a cool $1.1 million.  This is the fourth year in a row that the event has brought in more than a million dollars.

The plunge took place at 2:30 p.m.  More than 100 Special Olympics athletes led the charge into the 38 degree water.

This is the largest fundraiser for Special Olympics Va.

Money raised through the annual event provides year-round support for more than 13,000 Special Olympics Athletes, allowing both children and adults to train and compete in a variety of sports.

"It means a lot to our family.  My brother-in-law has Down syndrome and he's involved in the Special Olympics and they do a lot of programs, great programs.  It's a personal thing, so it's just great to get out here and do something like this," said one participant.