Annual Polar Plunge puts hundreds in the icy Columbia for Special Olympics Oregon

Local law enforcement agencies and those looking to support a good cause took a dip in the icy Columbia River Saturday to raise money for Special Olympics Oregon.

The annual Polar Plunge Portland at Broughton Beach is expected to bring in thousands of dollars in support of the state's largest disability group - those with intellectual special needs.

PHOTOS: Hundreds brave the cold Columbia for Polar Plunge Portland

The Polar Plunge, presented by Fred Meyer, benefits more than 13,000 Special Olympics Oregon athletes throughout the year. Each plunger participating in the event raised a minimum of $50, with many raising significantly more for the honor of jumping into freezing water in the middle of winter.

Portland is one of five Oregon cities hosting plunges, with more than 4,000 supporters taking part statewide.

From Polar Plunge Portland:

The statewide event got its start in 2007 when Central Oregon Law Enforcement and SOOR teamed up for a plunge in Bend's Deschutes River as a wintertime fundraiser. As the event grew in popularity, SOOR added plunges in four other Oregon communities. The Plunge is now the largest single fundraiser for the non-profit.

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