Support Salvation Army Wildfire Relief

Chilling for Charity in the Susquehanna River

TURBOT TOWNSHIP -- The cold wind and snow flurries made things feel even chillier at a polar plunge for charity.

Just looking at the west branch of the Susquehanna River, Bonnie McDowell of Milton couldn't stop shivering.

"I'm dreading this," she said.

But despite the chill, dozens of people prepared to take the plunge into 38 degree water at Fort Boone Campground near Milton. Their goal was raising money for the Salvation Army's youth programs including a summer music camp.

"It's a really beautiful day here. The warmth of the crowd around us is all we need, so we are here, and we are grateful for the support for the Salvation Army," John Meckley of Potts Grove.

A group of high school students held hands, pledging to plunge together.

While some people got in and out as quickly as they could, others dove all the way in, relishing the moment.

This is the fourth year for the event, organizers say turnout has doubled.

"This is way bigger than previous years. On an average, we have had 15 to 20 people. This year we have 50 or more, which is excellent," said Joel Harris, Salvation Army of Milton.

"It was so fun. I've got to get warm," said McDowell. "I am glad I did it."

The river may be cold, but the memories will be warm.