The weather may have been unseasonably warm on Tuesday, January 1, but the plucky volunteers were ice-cold in their hearts. No, wait … that is not right. Dedicated: that is what they were. Men and women from the Cozy Lake neighborhood of Jefferson came together for their annual Polar Plunge fundraiser.

Men and women from the Cozy Lake neighborhood of Jefferson came together for their annual Polar Plunge fundraiser on Tuesday, January 1. (Photo provided by James Ihde-Dougherty)

Years past have seen snow, rain, wind, and nearly impenetrable ice, but this year was something new – blue skies, sunshine, and temperatures in the 40s. The fine weather did not detract from the participants’ commitment to raise a monetary contribution for the Milton First Aid Squad (MFAS).

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Cozy Lake in the Milton section of Jefferson. (Photo provided by James Ihde-Dougherty)

Seven folks doffed fleece hoodies and terrycloth robes to brave the still bone-chilling water. Additional volunteers had hot coffee and delicious doughnuts at hand. Members of the MFAS volunteered their time, arriving in an ambulance to keep an eye on the safety of the plungers and to test the quality of the refreshments. All were found to be tip-top.

A resident of the Cozy Lake neighborhood of Jefferson chats with a member of the Milton First Aid Squad at the annual Polar Plunge fundraiser on Tuesday, January 1. (Photo provided by James Ihde-Dougherty)

Cozy Lake was able to make its largest donation to date for the squad. The Polar Plunge is held on January 2 each year, and the association hopes to keep the event growing. One plunger summed it up saying, “You know, these people [MFAS] are out there every day and night. We don’t realize it, but we count on them. So the least we can do is get out here. Is it silly? Yeah, sure, of course it is. But it’s something … it’s a way for us to say thank you … a way to give something back.”

Members of the Milton First Aid Squad expressed their appreciation to the Cozy Lake Association for the annual publicity and generous contribution. “It means so much to us. They put a lot of work into planning and carrying out this event each year. No one asked them to do it; they just get out here – no matter how cold and miserable it gets – and those crazy people jump in that freezing water. It’s just great and we appreciate it so much.”

Men and women from the Cozy Lake neighborhood of Jefferson run into icy waters for the annual Polar Plunge fundraiser on Tuesday, January 1. (Photo provided by James Ihde-Dougherty)

This story was written by contributing writer James Ihde-Dougherty.

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