They were getting wet and cold for all the right reasons Saturday afternoon at the University of Guelph.
A steady stream of participants made their way outside Creelman Hall where a large and chilly pool of water awaited those wanting to take part in the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics.
The event was a fundraiser for the 2016 Special Olympics Ontario Spring Games that are being held in Guelph May 26-28.
Organizer Chris Probst of the Guelph Police said the turnout, and the money raised, far exceeded expectations.
The initial goal for the event was to raise $20,000.
"This is way better than expected. It's incredible," said Probst, thankful for the sunny and not-too-cold day that brought out a lot of people who hadn't pre-registered for the event.
"You've got to love Guelph. I couldn't even begin to tell you what the final count is, but I do know that pre-registration we were in around the $29,000 mark and that didn't include the people just walking in.
"We definitely surpassed our goal and then some. It's a very successful event."
Several prominent locals led off the plunge, with Guelph Police Chief Jeff DeRuyter sporting a turn-of-the-century bathing suit and straw hat, Mayor Cam Guthrie using an inflatable toy while holding a GoPro camera, MP Lloyd Longfield wearing a tie and Waterloo Region Police Chief Bryan Larkin wearing full uniform.
"It was better than I thought it was going to be. I could actually have stayed in there for a while longer, it wasn't that bad," said DeRuyter of the pool, where a pre-dip measurement had the temperature at 1 C.
"Very refreshing and for a great cause," said Darren Drake, part of the AMJ Campbell team that took part Saturday. "It was pretty cold. It was definitely cold."