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Icy Plunge Into 2008 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Icy Plunge Into 2008

Westmore, Vermont - January 1, 2008

New Year's Day 2008.

"It's 23 degrees, a little bit of wind, and it's snowing hard up here at Lake Willoughby," said Stephen Morse.

It's a day for new beginnings.

"I became a senior citizen this year and you have to do something every once in a while to stay young," explained Morse.

A day to celebrate. And a day to do something... well, a little nuts.

"I think they're probably saying, these guys are crazy!!" said Leo Merchant.

More than 50 brave people stripped down and wore next to nothing on this cold, winter's day to take part in the fifth annual Lake Willoughby dip.

"It feels like ice is all over me. I'm freezing cold," said Allison Jensen.

The swim raises money for the American Cancer society.

Dippers raised more than $20,000 last year. This year's goal was $30,000.

"I lost my father to pancreatic cancer about four years ago and whatever I can do for research I'll do," explained Dave Caplan.

While many were reluctant to touch, let alone dive into the icy waters, most said it wasn't all that bad.

"Willoughby Lake is the biggest hot tub in the world," said Fred Laferriere.

And that means many of these crazy, brave, and adventurous souls will return next year, ready to do it all again.

Keagan Harsha - WCAX News

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