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It takes courage, bravery and maybe a little bit of crazy to jump into a frozen lake, but that’s what hundreds of Delta employees did at Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis this past Saturday – all in the name of charity – as part of a grassroots effort.

Delta’s employee team, the Delta Air Lines Frozen Flyers, raised more than $104,000 in the annual Polar Plunge benefiting Special Olympics Minnesota. The team included 244 jumpers from all over the world.

“The weather was nice, and we had a record turnout,” said Eric Johnson, team co-captain and Manager – Human Resources.  “The only problem was the ice thickness.  Since we have had such a warm winter, we had to restrict how many people were on the ice at one time.” 

This year, the Delta team had a large contingent from Asia, calling themselves the ‘Pacific Plungers,’ who raised over $15,000 for Special Olympics. The map was well-represented with participants from Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, Sacramento, Calif., San Diego, St. Lucia, Costa Rica, St. Maarten, Aruba and Jamaica.

“You might think it’s a bucket list item, but that doesn’t begin to tell the story,” said Jeff Hart, team captain and General Manager – Airport Customer Service, MSP.  “I am always surprised by the people who return every year.  They are either committed, crazy or both.”

Special Olympics offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round sports training and competition.  Through Special Olympics athletic, health and leadership programs, people with intellectual disabilities transform themselves, their communities and the world.