A fun time at Valley-Wide’s second annual Polar Plunge

Amara Wilson reacts to the cold pool water at the Diamond Valley Lake Aquatic Center in Hemet during the Polar Plunge fundraising event, Jan. 8. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo
It wasn’t Finland or Russia but two dozen hearty souls jumped into frigid waters at the Valley-Wide Recreation and Park District Aquatic Center’s unheated swimming pool in Hemet Saturday morning in a Polar Plunge challenge raising funds for local charities. The water, a frigid 55 degrees, didn’t stop the brave contestants including youngsters and their parents, from sliding down the high slide into the waters to the whoops, hollers and applause of the bystanders. “It’s kinda cold,” dedicated young swimmer Madison Houghton said after sliding down the slide and jumping out of the pool to an awaiting towel held by her mother. It wasn’t cold enough for her to take the slide and jump into the frigid water, so she jumped in three more times that morning. “Anytime she can sw
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