A wet and cold affair warmed hearts on Saturday as Great Southern communities stepped up their fight against a deadly disease. The Lake Grace-Pingrup and Boxwood Hill football clubs once again came together at the weekend for the sixth annual Big Freeze to smash previous fundraising records. As of Wednesday afternoon, more than $87,000 had been raised for research into motor neurone disease, breaking the record of nearly $73,000 set in 2019. One of the event organisers, Brenden Desmond, said he was surprised and pleased by how much money had been raised this year. “I am overwhelmed with the support we have experienced from donors and local community,” he said. “It has gone beyond our expectations.” While there were raffles held and beanies sold as part of this year’s event, it was the icy plunge, which headlined the event. Sixteen sliders took part in this year’s Big Freeze with most of them dressing up for the occasion. Film and TV show characters were a popular choice, with Jason Richter dressing up as Fred Flintstone, Dean Carruthers as William Wallace from ‘Braveheart’, Georgia Gray as Mrs Incredible, and Lynette Carruthers as Chazz Michael Michaels from the film ‘Blades of Glory’. Nathan Felesina had perhaps the most questionable outfit after deciding to dress as a Playboy bunny alongside sliding partner Caitlin Walker. ABC weather presenter Tyne Logan dressed as a rainbow for her second time down the slide, and described the experience as “bloody cold”. “There were regrets that I went head first when everyone else went feet first, but otherwise it was really good,” she said. “They say ice baths are supposed to be good for you.” Her sliding partner Steve McWhirter nearly “wiped her out” after making his descent. Lake Grace-Pingrup and Boxwood Hill coaches Kelvin Holmes and Matt Bowen were the final pair to go down the slide, dressed as Rocky and Clive Palmer respectively. The event attracted visitors from across the region, with at least one attendee flying from Melbourne to attend this year’s event. More than 40 items were auctioned by “Tiny” Holly following the plunge, ranging from student artwork and quilts by a local patchworking group to corporate boxes at major events. The auction was estimated to have raised more than $70,000. “I was very surprised with how much we raised, but I wasn’t surprised at what the community can do,” Mr Desmond said. “Our community always gets behind events like this and supports it in any way they can.” Mr Desmond said MND had taken a significant toll on their communities, which was a “fairly big reason” why they continue to hold the event. “All the family members of people who have or have had MND still live in town and they showed up and showed us their support,” he said. To donate, visit bit.ly/3wnZfXZ.