Hundreds of people turned out at Northwestern University’s North Beach in Evanston today to watch the Polar Plunge — a fundraiser for Special Olympics Illinois.

Similar events are being held at 17 locations around the state over the next few weeks. Organizers say that last year more than 2,600 people took the plunge and raised $845,000 for Special Olympics programs.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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