By Paul Martino

BEAVER (KDKA) — Here they go again – jumping into a frigid river in the middle of January. Are they crazy?

Well, this is how Polar Bear Plunge organizer, Melissa Neidbal, of the Beaver County Special Olympics, characterized them: “All these crazy people are here today for our Polar Bear Plunge. This is our second annual plunge.”

Is it craziness? Or is it a spirited way to help out children with special needs?

It’s the latter of course.

The plunge into the icy Beaver River raised $40,000 to send kids to the Special Olympics.

As the parent of a child with special needs said, it really means a lot.

“Other kids with special needs, they just don’t get the opportunity to do things that other kids get to do,” said Jen Bechtol, a parent. “And to see all these wonderful people here jumping to raise money for this organization, I just don’t have words to express that.”

It’s the second annual plunge for Special Olympics in Beaver County and 400 took the leap. That’s more than triple the number who plunged last year.

The money they raise ensures that kids with special needs can travel to Special Olympics’ events for free.

“It was freezing, but it was worth every second,” said one person who took the plunge.

They say next year’s plunge will be even bigger and crazier.

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