SYRACUSE — Temperatures may have risen to 50 degrees Saturday, but polar plungers at Oakwood Resort in Syracuse still had to face the cold.

Hundreds gathered on the shore of Lake Wawasee to watch more than 40 participants take turns running into the cold water for the Fire & Ice 2018 Polar Plunge.

In its first year officially hosting and organizing the event, Oakwood Resort’s polar plunge raised $700, which will be donated to the Turkey Creek Fire Department this year. Jill Garris, marketing and sales manager at Oakwood Resort, said she hoped to raise $1000, but was still thrilled by the amount of participants who came to support the cause.

“I’m over-the-moon excited about the turnout,” Garris said.

Some participants dressed in costumes; others were content wearing bathing suits as they sprinted for the water promptly at noon.

Andrew Butler and his brother Niles, both from Syracuse, donned Superman and Wonder Woman outfits and posed for pictures before taking the plunge. The crowd cheered as Syracuse native Jason Miller threw up “rock horns” to the crowd while walking down the shore backwards with his dress shirt unbuttoned.

Ron Rendall was next to run into the lake, a decision he would later regret.

“Man, that was stupid,” Rendall joked as he wrapped himself in a towel. “Maybe next year I’ll send in my donation and watch from the shore.”

After the plunge, the crowd dispersed back into the resort. Most participants stayed for prizes and live entertainment until 4 p.m.

Ben Mikesell can be reached at ben.mikesell@goshennews.com or on Twitter at @ben_mikesell.

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