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Dozens take a plunge for the fight against ALS

Posted at 6:17 PM, Jan 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-01 19:41:43-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — While many rang in the new year at midnight, others opted to plunge into 2020 some 12 hours later.

For the sixth year, North Beach and Fajitaville hosted the Corpus Christi Polar Bear Plunge. However, these brave souls weren't just plunging into the bay just for fun.

Corpus Christi’s plunge helps fund the fight against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, better known as ALS. While there's no cure for ALS, organizers believe every dollar they raise gets doctors a little closer to finding one.

The plunge brought people together from both near and far.

“I had never done a Polar Plunge before,” said Scott Robinson of Spokane, Wash. “From our point of view, with the weather so nice and warm, why not?”

Whether it was their first plunge or sixth, everyone was there to help the fight against ALS.

“I believe the person who started doing it has a family member who has (ALS),” said plunger Kimberly Dixon. “That's why she started it, to raise awareness and raise money.”

All registration fees go to the ALS Therapy Development Institute, and some even take the plunge when it comes to raising money.

“We also have some side challenges and fundraisers where we raise extra money,” said event coordinator Alissa Mejia. “People have also started teams and bought merchandise, so all that is going to the cause.”

Wednesday's temperatures were far from polar.

“The purists will say that this is not a real 'Polar Bear Plunge,' " said Mejia. "I know I'm from Massachusetts -- we work with what we've got.”

However, the plunge is more about giving hope to people looking for a miracle.

“It means an awful lot, we're a small community of people with ALS here,” said Bob Chapman, whose wife is battling ALS. “It's a horrible disease, and we really appreciate your help.”

Organizers expected to raise about $10,000 this year, bringing their six-year total to a little more than $60,000.