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Minnesotans raise money for charity on a brisk day for a swim

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It's the sort of event that adds to the mystique that Minnesotans are hardy--and a little crazy. Residents of milder climes often can't believe their eyes. This year, as on many previous New Year's, thousands of Minnesotans took an icy dip.

KSTP covered the event at Lake Minnetonka, where hundreds took part in the 24th annual ALARC Ice Dive in Excelsior. Money raised in the event will be donated to the Wounded Warrior program "Ride to Recovery," a rehabilitation program for wounded veterans that features cycling.

A smaller but equally dedicated bunch took a New Year's swim in southern Minnesota. The Fairbault Daily News reported about two dozen hardy souls hopped in to Circle Lake for the second annual Chunky Dunk. They raised funds to benefit the very lake where the event was held, with proceeds going toward cleaning up the wetlands and building carp grates. To keep participants safe and warm, emergency medical personnel and water safety crews were on hand at all times.

If you missed out on the events and would still like to take a very chilly dip, it's not too late. The 2014 Polar Plunge is scheduled for Jan. 25 in White Bear Lake. Last year, the White Bear Press reported that more than 1,500 participated to raise money for the Special Olympics.

Check out a clip posted to YouTube:

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