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Vermonters dive into the New Year - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermonters dive into the New Year

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WESTMORE, Vt. -

A frozen lake and single digit temperatures did not stop the hardiest of Vermonters from taking a winter swim. Our Kyle Midura dives into the Willoughby Dip.

One after another, 55 men, women and even some children dipped more than a toe into a frozen Lake Willoughby. The goal is to survive and raise $20,000 for the American Cancer Society.

"At 82 it's now or never you gotta do these things," said Lyndy Burdet, a cancer survivor and dip participant. "I usually try to put some snow on my heart and pulses before I go in so the heart knows the worst is yet to come."

For Burdet, the frosty soaking is an annual tradition dating back nearly a decade. She survived a bout with cancer in 1979 and says she'll keep coming back as long as there's life in her lungs. This year, her grandson joined her.

"Some grandsons want to make cookies with their grandmother, he comes up to jump in a lake," Burdet said.

"I've been the youngest for four years," said Molly Copp, 14. "It's a family tradition between me and my dad, considering he's a cancer survivor. A lot of my family are all cancer survivors."

Molly Copp says it helps to wear less, not more clothes before the hitting glacial water.

"I try not to think about it and think about how soon it will be over," she said.

Each plunge raises hundreds for charity, but divers say it's about more than fundraising.

"It means a lot to know I'm helping a great cause and just know I'm doing something good," Molly Copp said.

"It's remembering the people that are gone and how blessed I am to still be here," Lyndy Burdet said.

Heartwarming purpose for a bone-chilling event.

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