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Polar Bear Plunge still on despite weekend’s bitterly cold temperatures

Participants dive in during 2013's Polar Plunge at Oak Street Beach. | Sun-Times file photo

Temperatures will be a little too frigid Saturday for a jump into Lake Michigan for most people. But that won’t stop the Chicago Polar Bear Club.

Organizers considered rescheduling the club’s 18th annual Polar Plunge at Oak Street Beach because of the weather. But the event’s founder Brian Marchal announced Friday on Facebook that the event is still on.

“We will have to review again tomorrow as the next 20 hours will be extremely cold,” Marchal said in an email statement Friday, “but we anticipate plunging tomorrow.”

Representatives from the Chicago Polar Bear Club met with the Chicago Park District Friday to reach a final decision on the event. The plunge raises money to support three Chicago families in need.

More than 160 people have marked themselves as planning to attend the plunge on the event’s Facebook page. But some announced they’d be backing out because of the temperatures.

Last year’s event fell on Jan. 20, amid an unusually warm start to the year with temperatures at noon sitting around 45 degrees. Temperatures on Saturday are expected to stay in single digits for most of the day, with windchills pushing them below zero.