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Hundreds do the polar plunge in Florence for suicide prevention

22 veterans commit suicide everyday, according to Miles.

Posted: Jan 1, 2019 2:49 PM
Updated: Jan 2, 2019 10:45 AM

It was a record breaking number of people who took the plunge in Florence for the New Year and a recording breaking number of rainfall amounts too. 

High water levels and fast currents on the Tennessee River caused the polar plunge to take place in a different part of McFarland Park. A portion of the park was closed due to flooding.

Normally plungers jump in at the beach at McFarland Park but this year the beach was swallowed up by water. Those running had to go down a boat ramp instead, but that didn't stop hundreds from taking part in the event.

Joshua Miles, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, started the event a few years ago in memory of a fellow solider who committed suicide. Miles said it's important to get people together and try to fight suicide as one.

"22 veterans a day take their own life and it's far beyond veterans. First responders and the population in general, there is a huge suicide epidemic that I wish their was a way to fix," said Miles.

Miles told WAAY31 he hopes people will see there is community support for people struggling with hard times and he hopes this will stop someone from taking their life.

They broke a record this year with more people taking the plunge. All of the money raised by the event will go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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