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CARBONDALE — Over 200 people registered to take part in the Carbondale Polar Plunge, on its twentieth anniversary, Saturday, Feb. 23.

And while a few may have chickened out, those who took part (including a person in a gigantic chicken suit) raised about $33,000 for Special Olympics Illinois, according to Special Olympics Region Co-Director Kim Talley.

People will be plunging into frigid lakes around the state all month, contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars more to the organization, which has helped over 40,000 athletes train and compete in 18 sports.

Each diver is asked to raise at least $100 in donations to earn the right to plunge. This year, about 170, people raised funds for the Carbondale event, Talley said.

Top fundraisers were recognized at the post-Polar Plunge party, in the Murphysboro Moose Lodge.

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Gabriel Neely-Streit is a reporter for The Southern covering higher education.

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