'Tis the season to freeze for a reason! The 10th annual Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Alaska takes place this Saturday, Dec. 15 at Goose Lake in Anchorage.

The weekend kicks off Friday, when a large hole is drilled into the frozen lake near the campus at the University of Alaska Anchorage. First responders then test the water that over 700 Special Olympics Alaska supporters will brave the following day.

This will be the first Polar Plunge without Jim Balamaci, the longtime Special Olympics Alaska president and CEO who passed away suddenly in February. Current president and CEO Nicolle Egan says this year is a tribute to Balamaci's legacy.

"This is really a special year in a lot of ways," Egan said Thursday. "We have more than 700 plungers, we're raising money for Special Olympics, and the (Special Olympics staff) this year is plunging all-together as a group. To honor Jim... so we are very excited."

The theme for this year's event is also an homage to Balamaci: a beach party.

The Polar Plunge will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. KTVA.com will provide a live stream so viewers from around the world can see big-hearted Alaskans "freezin' for a reason."

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