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Plunging into 2010

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Westmore, Vermont - January 1, 2010

A new day, a new decade and a dip in Lake Willoughby.

It's a New Year's Day tradition in Westmore.

"It doesn't matter what the weather conditions are," organizer Fred Laferriere said. "January 1st at one o'clock every year we're in the water."

One by one they walked the plank-- all 46 of them-- headed from the frigid 29 degree air and into the frosty waters, some with a celebratory splash.

"It was awesome," said Erica Pierce who took the plunge. "I'd do it again in a heartbeat. It was fun."

Dozens filled the beach on this New Year's Day-- a mixed crowd of young and the young at heart, but all with a common goal: to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

"I said if we raise $50,000 I would shave my head, but I think we're going to end up being around $20, $25,000," Laferriere said.

But how DO they do it... Really?

"The adrenalin and we have a team and it's a good cause," participant Colleen Herrity said.

"It's an awesome experience," said Stephen Morse, who also took the plunge. "It's not that cold because you have all the support of people coming out and watching you when you do it. I do concerts and recitals and when you've got everybody watching you the adrenalin runs like crazy. So you're actually warmer and that's why I'm standing here like this and a lot of these people are already fully clothed-- believe it or not-- so try it."

So this community-- filled with cold bones, but warm hearts-- came together at Lake Willoughby on this New Year's Day, hoping their efforts will somebody mean a new day in the fight against cancer.

Bridget Barry Caswell - WCAX News

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