Participants plunge into Mississippi River for annual Ski Freeze

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Wednesday's chilly temperatures certainly weren't ideal for a day on the water, but that didn't stop one group from braving the frigid Mississippi River for the 43rd Annual Ski Freeze.

As we found out, kicking off the new year means taking a plunge to help make dreams come true.

It's the point of no return for Memphian Kelsey Lawrence and her eighth time to take part in the annual Ski Freeze benefiting the Dream Factory of Memphis.

"It's a great way to kick off a new year: the freezing Mississippi River," Lawrence said. "But it's a really good cause, raising money for the Dream Factory of Memphis, so I wouldn't miss it."

She was joined by dozens of water enthusiasts who were eager to hold on for a high speed ride in the Mississippi River channel next to Mud Island River Park.

"The water's cold; it's cold," Chris Wallace said. "The first time you do it, and that water hits you in the face, you have a tendency to go *shivers.*"

But shivers aside, all were eager to help raise money and make dreams come true for critically ill and chronically ill kids ages 3 to 18.

"This event, usually, we'll net about $25,000, which is a huge amount," Brian Juengling said. "Our average dream cost is between $3,500 and $4,000. This event touches a lot of kids' lives."

One of those youngsters is 11-year-old Ally Grace Gibson from Kosciusko, Mississippi. She was born with a blood disorder affecting her spleen.

Thanks to Ski Freeze 2020, Gibson and her family will go to Disney World and Sea World later this year.

"To see all these people here and the people out there skiing, that are freezing their tails off, it is amazing to see," Rhonda Gibson said.

Click here if you would like to make a donation to the Dream Factory of Memphis.

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