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Portage Lakes: Ready for the frigid plunge

5:57 PM, Feb 16, 2012   |    comments
  • Ryan Street will be jumping into the icy waters once again, marking his fifth time participating. Photo by Kimberly Davis.
  • Ryan Street will be jumping into the icy waters once again, marking his fifth time participating. Photo by Kimberly Davis.
  • Photo by Kimberly Davis.
    
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The outdoor swimming season has been dead for months, but the icy, cold waters of the Portage Lakes will splash to life once again this Saturday.

All in an effort to raise money for charity, brave swimmers will be jumping into the frigid water at Portage Lakes State Park (5031 Manchester Rd.) in the 9th annual event presented by the Portage Lakes Polar Bear Club.

One of those jumpers is Ryan Street, who is taking the plunge for his fifth year in a row.

"The first moment your body touches the water is indescribable," Street says. "It is cold, but think about all the people you are supporting out there and raising money for a good cause."

While some people will wear a wet suit or a costume for the plunge, Street takes more of a traditional beach-goer approach.

Check out photos from a massive Polar Bear Plunge at Chesapeake Bay

"I typically wear my swim trunks, socks and shoes to protect my feet from the bottom of the lake. ... I wouldn't wear a wet suit if I had one due to the fact that I love the adrenaline I get from the cold water and for the people I'm raising money for to help out with cancer."

So far, Street says he has raised more than $2,000 for charity through his participation in the event.

This year's plunge will benefit the American Cancer Society, Stewart's Caring Place Cancer Wellness Center and Camp Quality Ohio.

If you're brave enough to dive in, registration starts at noon on Saturday with the jump beginning at 2 p.m. It's a minimum $25 donation to participate.

Spectators are also invited to stop by. T-shirts, food and drinks will be available for donation.

Click here to view a "jumper packet" if you would like to join in the event.

WKYC-TV

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