If you’re gonna be freezin’ there better be a good reason. And there was!

In this case, the 11th Annual Polar Plunge on Feb. 1 in Lake St. Louis raised $97,491 to benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Missouri. A total of 312 brave (and possibly foolhardy) men and women from around the area donned costumes and swimwear to take a chilly dip into Lake St. Louise.

The Polar Plunge is a project of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Missouri. Lake St. Louis PD, O’Fallon PD, Wentzville PD and St. Charles Co. Sheriff’s Department host the event. This year’s plunge was held in conjunction with Shop ‘n Save, 92.3 WIL, Missouri Association of Student Councils, Newstime, Premier Rental and Bodine Toyota.

Top Fundraiser: David Hurst – $5,196
Top Fundraising Group: Terry – $4,482
Top LETR Team: St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department – $8,637
Top Fundraising School: Hillsboro Polar Hawks – $6,300

If you weren’t able to make it to the event or didn’t know about it, no worries! Online fundraising is ongoing and organizers of the plunge hope to raise even more money. Donations can be made at www.somo.org/plunge.

To see more images from the event, visit www.flickr.com/photos/somissouri/sets/72157640585941523/. The LEGO costumes are classic, but not exactly practical for swimming.