NEW YORK -- The Columbia field hockey team took part in the 2011 Great Kills Beach Polar Plunge on Sunday, Dec. 4, in Staten Island, N.Y. This past weekend's nice weather might have taken some of the usual polar elements out of this year's Polar Plunge, but the Lions were happy to participate in this outstanding fundraiser for the Special Olympics.

Each year, Special Olympics Polar Plunges are held throughout the country to attract thousands of chilled souls to engage in a commendable and thrilling fundraising event. So far this year, the New York Polar Plunge has raised over $450,000 following eight of the 12 scheduled races. The bravest of Polar Plungers will have more opportunities to participate with two dates in February and two dates in March.

Columbia head field hockey coach Marybeth Freeman and juniors Bridget DeSandis, Katie DeSandis and Christie O'Hara took part at the Polar Plunge.

"Not only is it a great team bonding event, but it is for a good cause and supports the Special Olympics," Freeman said. "As long as Columbia field hockey is able to support this cause, we will. A special thank you to Christie O'Hara for organizing our trip to Staten Island for this great event."

The Columbia field hockey team is coming off its fifth-consecutive winning season. The Lions climbed their way to the top of the Ivy League standings and stayed there for much of the year. Columbia set a program record with six All-Ivy League honorees. O'Hara, Gabby Kozlowski and Leti Freaney earned All-Ivy First Team distinction while Carson Christus and Katie DeSandis were named to the All-Ivy Second Team and Paige Simmons was an Honorable Mention All-Ivy selection. Kozlowski and O'Hara also received 2011 Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-Mideast Region Second Team honors.