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People brave cold temperatures at 14th Annual Polar Bear Plunge Submitted: 01/04/2014
Story By Shardaa Gray


ST. GERMAIN - Bone chilling temperatures didn't stop people from jumping into an icy lake.

It was all to help people affected by cancer.

Newswatch 12 takes you to St. Germain for the 14th annual Polar Bear Plunge.

For a few seconds you feel paralyzed and shocked after jumping into a freezing lake.

"It'll take your breath away, but I understand the concept of it. 30 seconds of freezing cold water is nothing compared to people dealing with cancer have to go through every day during their treatment." said WRJO's Co-Emcee, Amy Linnett.

For 14 years, people who have or are affected by cancer jump into a very icy Big Saint Germain Lake.

It raises money for Angel On My Shoulder; an organization founded by Lolly Rose after her husband died from cancer.

"My children and I wanted to make something good out of something bad. We wanted to start a foundation that would support those living with or affected by cancer." Rose said.

"Our daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She was actually one of the 22 cases ever known in the world," said volunteer, Eric Schoeneck.

"We spent a lot of time down in Madison for surgeries and saint Joe's in Marshfield. After seven months she lost her battle with cancer. She passed away three and half years old."
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Through the support of the foundation, Schoeneck and other families get the support they need.

"Everybody in the organization wanted to make sure we were comfortable and taking care of that we could focus on Jadelyn's care," Schoeneck said.

"It's just a heartwarming experience. That's why we do what we do with the volunteering."

It might sound crazy to jump into an icy lake.

But if you're brave enough to do it, there are some things to consider.

"We always recommend shoes because once you get out of the water, you're back on the snow and ice and it's not good on the feet." Linnett said.

"You want to make sure you put light clothing on because when you once you get out of the water… make sure you're hydrated as well." second time jumper, Margaret Willis said.

Freezing is an understatement, but it's definitely for a good cause.

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ST. GERMAIN - Thousands of visitors come to the Northwoods each year in search of treasures old and new.

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ANTIGO - A group of tractor enthusiasts showed off their work Monday morning at Antigo's Memorial Day parade.

The Northwoods Tractor Club prides itself on refurbishing old tractors to like new condition.

The not for profit group started with just 20 members and has steadily grown to more than 100.

"Northwoods Tractor Club started in 2011 and it's a group of tractor enthusiasts that kinda thought well maybe we should get together and have an organization, maybe help out the community a little bit. So, we got together with 20 guys back then and now we're well over 100 members," says club President Mike McDougal.

Many of the tractors are hand me downs or ones that are too old to be used in the field.

That's why finding replacement parts can be tricky.

"A lot of times it's the family tractor that had been on their parents or grandparents farm. We reworked it and use it for parades such as today. Our whole general purpose of the organization is to raise money and establish an agriculture tractor museum up just north of Antigo is where we're looking at some land right now," says McDougal.

Many of the tractors date back to the 1930s.

Meeting are held on the last Monday of every month at Quinn's Bar in Neva Corners.

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RHINELANDER - The gloomy weather made it difficult to stay outside for the entire weekend, but the rain brought a lot of people to the Pioneer Park Historical Complex.

The complex opened for the season on Saturday.

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- We will take you across the Northwoods to show you Memorial Day celebrations that took place today.

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We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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SHARON, WI - Authorities say four people were killed and four others were injured when a fully loaded semi-truck hit a pickup truck and SUV in Walworth County.

The Walworth County Sheriff's Office says a preliminary investigation finds that the semi-truck was headed north on Highway K about 11:45 a.m. Saturday when the pickup truck failed to yield at a stop sign.

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SAULT STE. MARIE, MI - The U.S. Coast Guard is working on plans on how it will try to free a freighter that ran aground in Whitefish Bay off Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Yaw says the Coast Guard on Sunday was continuing to monitor the safety of the crew of the Roger Blough and to monitor for any environmental problems.

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MERRILL - Steven Jopek carries a number of memories with him on Memorial Day.

"This will be our 9th Memorial Day where he hasn't been here," said Steven.

This weekend marked the 10th anniversary of the last time he saw his brother, Ryan, in person.

"He would be 30 on June on 1st," said Ryan's sister Jessica Holmgren.

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