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Polar Plunge

More than 300 Marines, sailors and Onslow County, N.C., residents get ready to sprint toward the winter-chilled ocean at Onslow Beach for the 3rd Annual Polar Plunge

More than 300 Marines, sailors and Onslow County, N.C., residents get ready to sprint toward the winter-chilled ocean at Onslow Beach for the 3rd Annual Polar Plunge Jan. 10. The event raised more than $13,000 for Onslow County Special Olympics and will be used to purchase uniforms, equipment and provided transportation for athletes.

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – More than 300 Marines, sailors and civilians met on a brisk winter morning Jan. 10 at Onslow Beach for the 3rd Annual Polar Plunge to raise money for Special Olympic athletes of Onslow County in North Carolina.

The chairwoman of the organization’s Polar Plunge committee, Dora Gaskin, said this year’s event raised more than $13,000.

The money will be used entirely to support Onslow County Special Olympic athletes by purchasing uniforms, equipment and to provide transportation, she said.

Even though the weather was unseasonably warm, the ocean was not, said Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Staszak, II Marine Expeditionary Force, third year participant.

“I’m glad to hear we raised more than $13,000. Being cold for a few hours pales in comparison when you think of those we are helping,” he said. “This is a cause I truly believe in and I’m glad to be a part of the II MEF team.”

Lt. Gen. Dennis J. Hejlik, II MEF’s commanding general, led the rowdy crowd into the ocean. Men, women, children, mermaids and superheroes were among those who sprinted toward the choppy waters as lifeguards and onlookers cheered them on.

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