CORTLAND -- More than 100 people gathered in the single-digit temperatures Saturday to take part in the 2011 Mosquito Lake Polar Plunge.
According to final numbers, 148 people braved the intense cold and ran into Mosquito Creek Reservoir in the name of charity, raising nearly $27,000 for Special Olympics Ohio.
''We're extremely pleased these people came out to do this as cold as it is,'' said Paige Ludwig, marketing and development director with Special Olympics Ohio.
Folks brave the frigid waters of Mosquito lake Saturday to raise money for Special Olympics.
Dubbed "Freezin' for a Reason," participants were asked to raise at least $75 in pledges (or $50 for students). For those who wanted to do good without all the discomfort, there was a $30 "Too Chicken to Plunge" option.
Dressed in nothing by swim trunks, first-timer Dakota Jones, 15, of Warren, could hardly wait to get in the water.
''I came and watched last year and thought it was interesting, so I'm doing it this year,'' Jones said. ''It's for the kids.''
Minnie Wolfe, 79, makes her way into Mosquito Creek Reservoir Saturday during the Polar Plunge with the help of Chris Herlinger, of the Mecca Fire Department and the Bazetta Police Department.
''It's a good cause,'' said a bikini-top clad Mary Sue Hood of Bristolville. ''It's my first time. It's going to be cold, but I'm going as far out as it goes.''
The event's star was 79-year-old Minnie Wolfe of Niles, who donned her favorite swimsuit for the task.
''I do this every year. I have a handicapped granddaughter ... it's for her,'' Wolfe said moments before she hit the water.
Afterward, Wolfe said she was happy but cold.
Ken Merwin of Cortland had ''cold'' feet before he arrived Saturday, but said he was determined to go for it.
''I thought about running away but I'm excited. It's going to be cold but I'm going to make it. It's for the kids and they're special to us,'' Merwin said.
With so many participants, organizers had to send them into the water in groups.
The first group consisted of members of the Cortland Moose Lodge 1012, who got to feel the icy water of Mosquito lake, which is frozen to 10 inches in some spots.
''We went all the way in, touched the ice and came back,'' said Jim Morris of the Moose Lodge. ''It's always worth it. This is my fifth time.''
Another plunger, Billy Lowther, hurried to his car after his turn.
''It was very cold but exhilarating,'' he said laughing. ''It was worth it and makes an old man feel young again.''
Adding to the festive atmosphere, a costume contest was held prior to the plunge. Outfits included Wonder Woman, a Viking, pirates and the winners of the group division who showed up ready for a bath.
''We're the Frozen Suds,'' said Nicholas Darno of Warren. ''My cousin thought it up.'' Dressed with basins around their waists, shower caps and balloons to look like soap suds, the group eagerly waited for their turn.
''It's a lot colder this year than last year,'' Darno said.
''We wanted to do it because it's for a good cause,'' said fellow ''sud'' Darla Drummond of Warren.
To help cut through the cold, members of Friends of the Mosquito Lake Dog Park offered visitors hot coffee, hot chocolate, pizza and cupcakes to raise money for future projects for the dog park.
A Post-Plunge Party was held at the Cortland Moose Lodge for participants to warm up.