Hundreds of brave souls took the polar plunge for the 8th annual Evergreen Lake Plunge

EVERGREEN, Colo. -

Every year they do it, and every year we wonder "why?" We're talking about the 8th annual Evergreen Lake Plunge! This year was no exception, hundreds of wannabe “polar bears” dove right in.    

“I'm a little nervous, I think it's going to be cold!” said Evergreen High School Senior, Andy Walowitz.

“I have never done this before!” said Barbara Block.

Crews started cutting through the 15-inches of solid ice early New Year's Day to reach the water below. Everyone takes the plunge for a different reason. Some, for that perfect Instagram photo. Others do it to raise awareness.

Rebecca Kirschner's team suited up to help the Babb family, whose son Tommy Babb, was recently injured.

“This year we're doing something different. And we're dedicating our plunge. [Babb] injured his neck in the ocean and so he's paralyzed right now and we're just praying for a miracle,” Kirschner said.

But no matter the reason -- be it a selfless act or selfie inspired, everyone is the same when they hit the water.

“Oh, that was so cold! Oh my goodness. My feet, I can't even feel them,” said Block.

The event is a partnership between several non-profits: Drive Smart and the Evergreen Parks and Recreation Special Needs Program.

Evergreen Fire and Rescue crews make sure everyone leaves the water safely.

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