Alicia Sotherland

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Bianchini said that he heard about the event from his sister and was planning to surprise her and her son with the news that he pulled it off.

"That was fabulous," said Weber. "They just about whipped us right out of the boat. I ended up sitting on the floor by the time I was done."

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Other events throughout the day included an all day ice fishing tournament, cross country skiing, horse drawn sleigh rides, dog sled rides, and live animal exhibits, among others.

The plunge was held as a fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which supports research for finding controls Vans Game Over Sneakers for the disease, with the hope that a cure will one day be found. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease that affects the lungs and digestive system, causing thick mucus that leads to poor lung function, lung infections, and poor digestion.

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Taking the plunge at Grafton Winter Fest

John Perry, of Johnsonville, said he participated in the event because of the benefit for cystic fibrosis research as well as the fact that it helped him train for a triathlon. Before and after his plunge, Perry took a run around Long Pond on snowshoes to keep his blood pumping.

Mike Weber came out to the event with his wife, Lynne, as he had past years because of how close the two live to the park.

Vans Game Over Sneakers

Vans Game Over Sneakers

Bianchini, of Albany, was one of more than a dozen people who participated in the polar plunge during the 25th annual Grafton Lakes State Park Winter Festival, which was estimated to Vans Blue And Black

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water of Long Pond Saturday to raise money for cystic fibrosis.

"It's just an opportunity for folks to enjoy the winter and the outdoors," said Wagner, noting that Grafton often has snow even when the rest of the Capital District may not. "It's something special that we have in the northeast, so we want people to take advantage of that, enjoy it, and embrace the cold."

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"I watched that first guy dive in and I said, 'Well I've got to dive now because somebody else did it,'" said Perry. "You kind of follow suit."

Margaret Phillips, a member of the East Greenbush YMCA swim team, organized the plunge to benefit her daughter as well as others who suffer from the disease.

the brave souls as they dunked themselves into the icy water while outside temperatures hovered around 15 degrees.

While they initially came out to watch the polar plunge, a ride aboard the airboat as it whipped across the snow covered pond was what got their adrenaline pumping.

Liz Wagner, the park naturalist for Grafton Lakes, said the plunge was a great success, along with airboat rides from the State Police.

Spectators of all ages snapped photos and shot video of Skechers Trainers Womens Sale

Organizers of the winter festival tried this year to feature and spread out more crafts and activities, such as animal tracking, a snow sculpture contest, a snowball throwing contest, and snowshoe races, throughout the park.

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attract close to 2,000 visitors throughout the day, according to organizers.

"She actually sent me the e mail, but she had no idea I was going to do this," said Bianchini. "I'm going to send her a picture on my phone and am looking forward to surprising her."

Vans Game Over Sneakers

Vans Game Over Sneakers

GRAFTON As a surprise gesture in support of his nephew in Atlanta, Greg Bianchini jumped into the freezing cold Vans Suede Shoes

"I contacted the foundation to see if they would support us and give us a certificate, and it's been going for three years now," said Phillips. "It's a lot of fun and people keep coming back."

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Vans Game Over Sneakers

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