Plunging into the new year - Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Plunging into the new year

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Windchills in the negatives didn't stop the East Peoria Boat Club from hosting their annual polar plunge. 

One by one they jumped into the frigid waters coming back out to a fresh start to the new year. 

"This is the one picture I had with my ex-boyfriend, I'm going to throw it out, and he's gone. Legit, new year new me," said Ellen Corbin, one of the holiday jumpers. 

A lot of newbies headed for the waters telling me it's nice to jump with a veteran. 

"Sometimes I jump five or six times," said Kenneth Pettijohn. 

Pettijohn has over three decades of polar plunge experience. 

"The thing is when you go in, control your breathing. I'm not going to "BS" about it, I wouldn't lie. When you hit the water you're going to (gasp). It's the intial shock and reflex to take a deep breath. But if you can control that, it's good to go," said Pettijohn.

All fun aside, charity is the real reason jumpers took the plunge. 

The proceeds from the 2018 jump go to 12 different charities around the area. 

They were causes that hit home for one participant who works for one of those local non-profits.

"I give my time, it's not the best pay, it's not the best money but I feel I'm giving back to a good cause, and I'm here to jump into the frozen water," Corbin.

"That's one of the big drives for me doing this, the fact that I was blessed with 7 healthy children, knowing that some kids may not see Christmas next year," said Pettijohn.

We want to stress people had to sign waivers before subjecting themselves to the cold. 

In addition to the warming tents, EMT's were on hand just in case anyone experienced any medical distress.

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