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More than 1000 people plunge into 2014 in Jacksonville

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Updated: 1/01 6:37 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Despite some nasty weather, about 1,500 people participated in a 25-year tradition.

Action News caught the whole thing on camera as people ran into the 59-degree water at Jacksonville Beach Wednesday morning.

"My crazy sister talked me into it," said Katarina Stevens.

This was Stevens' first time taking the plunge, and she says as cold as it was, it was a wake-up call to kick off her New Year.

"It was fun. It's definitely going to be a tradition from now on," said Stevens.

We asked organizers about the turnout.

They say despite the cold, rainy weather, "plungers" still showed up in droves.

"It's cold. It's wet and cold this year, and the rain doesn't help at all," said Zack Quest.

Right before the swimmers took off towards toward the surf, the rain stopped.

"I thought it was chilly but that didn't stop me," said Zachary Alfaro.

In order to be named an "official plunger," participants had to completely submerge themselves in the water.

This tradition isn't just about chilly fun. Organizers sell T-shirts for $20 and the proceeds go toward charities such as the Jax Beach lifeguards, the American Red Cross and The Carver Center.
Organizers tell us they raised $2,500 from Wednesday's plunge.

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