• Dozens brave the cold in polar plunge in support of Pete Frates

    Updated:

    GLOUCESTER, Mass. - The severe cold that has been freezing the state for the past few days has prompted many of the notorious New Year's polar plunges to be postponed - but not in Gloucester!

    Those supporting Pete Frates, the man who inspired the ice bucket challenge, charged forward in support of Pete and ALS awareness. 

    Pete's father, John, was there to praise the brave souls that, despite freezing temperatures outside, still took on the plunge.

    Despite the cold, 100 people signed up, but only about a dozen actually jumped into the chilly salt water for the 6th annual Plunge4Pete. 

    The Harrisons, who got married on Good Harbor Beach six years ago, on the same day as the first Plunge4Pete took place, were there on Saturday afternoon, Pete's 33rd birthday, ready to dip into the frigid waters. 

    "The coldest weather is nothing compared to what someone with ALS is dealing with," said Linda Harrison.

    Organizers said people didn't have to go in the water  - and encouraged those who were running in to make it quick, because the risk for hypothermia was high.

    While the water temperatures were in the 40's, the biggest problem for the plungers was actually the cold air that hit them once they got out of the water. 

    Normally, Pete would take his wheelchair out on the sand toward the group and they'd rally around him, but as a safety measure due to the extreme cold, his family said he stayed home.

    "We're all about Pete's health and safety, we don't want him getting sick," said Tim Wooters.

    The money raised from the polar plunge goes towards Pete's care, which his family says costs over $100 per hour. 

    Organizers say the fundraiser raised over $59,000 Saturday. 

    Next Up: