Despite taking place a month later than the three previous Polar Plunges did not mean the Mississippi River was any warmer when the event took place Saturday at the Hannibal Marina.

Despite taking place a month later than the three previous Polar Plunges did not mean the Mississippi River was any warmer when the event took place Saturday at the Hannibal Marina.

“One of the firefighters told me the water was 35 degrees,” said Michael Hagan of Hannibal, who was there as a spectator.

Dolly Lewis, one of four members of the “Shiver Me Timbers” team from Eugene Field Elementary School making the plunge, confirmed the water was not something most would want to linger in.

“It was cold. It was really cold,” said Lewis.

Lewis confirmed that her first time to plunge may not be her last.

“I think I will again,” she said. “It was fun.”

One of Lewis’ Eugene Field teammates, Annie Massie, may also return, but possibly just to cheer Lewis on.

“I probably won’t do it again,” said Massie, another rookie plunger. “Maybe I’ll raise the money, but not (endure) the cold water.”

Massie appreciated everyone who supported the fund-raiser for Special Olympics.

“Thank you to everybody that donated. We had fun doing it,” she said. “Thanks to everybody that showed up.”

More than $9,000 was raised through this year’s plunge, which was $2,000 more than was raised in 2013. Meghan Karr and Kelsey Orwerth were the top fund-raisers for the team from the Hannibal Public Schools’ Hannibal Early Childhood Center. Evan Butler won the costume contest.

Among those in the crowd were students from Eugene Field.

“They’re pretty excited. Some of them think we’re crazy, too,” said Massie.

According to Massie, there was a popular misconception around school that the plunge would be taking place closer to Eugene Field.

“There’s a big puddle of water in front of our school because of all the snow and rain that we’ve had and that’s where they thought we were plunging after school,” she said with a laugh.

Among those in the crowd was Eric Hagan of Hannibal.

“It was funny to watch,” he said. “My wife jumped in so it was a funny thing to watch. It’s for a good cause.”

Participating in the plunge fulfilled an objective of Eric Hagan’s wife.

“She’s been wanting to do it for a few years and finally got a team together to do it,” he said. “She wanted me to, but I had other commitments before this. I just come down when I could. Maybe in the future.”

Michael Hagan was on the riverfront in support of his wife, Michelle, and his friend, Mark Frankenbach.

“I think they’re crazy. But it’s crazy for a good cause,” he said.

Michael Hagan acknowledged that his friend and wife tried to recruit him to join them in the frigid fun.

“They did, but I told them the answer was no and it was going to stay no. I have no regrets,” he said, laughing. “Maybe next year.”

While Michael Hagan says he might plunge in 2015, Julie Leverenz says don’t look for her to be splashing around in the Mississippi next February.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever have the courage to do it again, but I’m in for this one time,” she said.

Leverenz, who went about chest deep before reversing course, plunged in behalf of the Rotary Club.

“Mary Lynne (Richards, assistant supervisor for promotion and planning for the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department) stood up (at a Rotary meeting) and said, ‘I’d like to have some Rotary support (for the Polar Plunge),’” recalled Leverenz. “Then someone spontaneously said, ‘The president should do this on our behalf!’ Somebody said, ‘How much will it take?’ And silly me, I said $150. Within 30 seconds (the money was raised.) I clearly should have set the bar a little bit higher.

“Even though I was forced into it through the Rotary Club, it’s still for a great cause. I’m glad to participate.”

Leverenz had sought advice from past plungers. What was she told?

“Be fast and go to the warming hut immediately afterwards,” she said. “I’ve been assured that no one in the entire United States that’s participated in the Polar Plunge has ever died (while participating), so I’m good.”