Despite the bone-chillin', goosebump-makin' temperatures Saturday afternoon, jumpers and spectators alike took part in the third annual Polar Bear Plunge.

Presented by local law enforcement, money raised from the event, which took place on Lake L'Homme Dieu, goes to Special Olympics Minnesota.

This year's event featured about 150 jumpers and raised more than $26,000 - nearly double that of last year's total of a little more than $14,000. The amount of jumpers nearly doubled as well - there were about 80 jumpers last year.

Alexandria Police Officer Keith Melrose, organizer of the Alexandria event, was pleased with this year's turnout and the amount of money that was raised. He explained that the money will go to local Special Olympics athletes - for their traveling expenses and events.

Although the thermometer may have read around 7 degrees above zero on Saturday, Melrose said the wind came up and it was jaw-dropping cold - especially when jumping into icy water.

"It takes your breath away. It's very cold," said Melrose, who took the plunge for the third year in a row.

When asked what keeps him coming back year after year, he added, "It's for such a good cause. Plus, it doesn't really hurt that bad. It's more exhilarating."

There are a total of 12 Special Olympics Minnesota Polar Bear Plunge events. For more information, visit