By noon Saturday, about 600 people had registered to participate in the first Polar Plunge of the Lehigh Valley, in Easton, in support of the Northampton County Special Olympics.
Easton Mayor Sal Panto, returning from Washington D.C. to speak at the opening ceremony, announced that more than $80,000 had been raised.
By 1 p.m., the plungers were poised to take the dip into the frigid Delaware River. They were set in groups of 75 to allow for a safer event. Paramedics stood by in case of emergencies.
The water temperature was at an estimated 37 degees when the first participants dared their plunge.
Scott Park was filled with spectators who wanted see their family and friends dive into the frigid water. Spectators lined up to watch all along the park and on the free bridge into New Jersey.