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Polar bears splash and scream in Great Lake

Lisa Varano, staff writer

December 26, 2010 — Shirtless and screaming people leap into frigid lake to raise money for charity.

Winter wading
Winter wading

Fully clothed, it felt like -10 with the wind chill in Niagara-on-the-Lake on Sunday.

But instead of piling on the layers, two dozen people were stripping them off.

No matter how cold their exposed skin felt at that moment, it was about to get even worse.

They jumped in Lake Ontario and yelled.

The water temperature in the lake was only around 5C, says Patrick Cool, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

Ice didn't scare people away
Ice didn't scare people away

The 35th annual polar bear plunge in Niagara-on-the-Lake raised money for Red Roof Retreat, an organization that provides respite care for families with children suffering severe disabilities, according to Glenn Brazeau. He sent us viewer video from the event.

Holiday polar bear dips are a tradition in many northern countries. In Germany, the crowd was smaller and more reserved at a Christmas Day ice swim in Berlin.

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