They’ll be freezin’ for a reason – and glad to do it.
As of press time, 570 people have registered and are set to crack the ice, jumping into Crooked Lake’s frozen waters at 1 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 9).
They’ll be taking a chilly dip to raise money for Special Olympics Minnesota with the second annual Polar Bear Plunge in Anoka County.
The Anoka County event has teams of local cops and firefighters, school teachers and cheerleaders, nurses and doctors, bankers, business owners and compassionate folks of all sorts ready to take the plunge.
To participate, each Polar Plunger must raise at least $75 – and of course, taking a chilly dip isn’t the only way that money is being raised for Special Olympics.
The Coon Rapids Police and Fire plunge team, appropriately named the Rapids Responders, suited up and served people eating at Riverdale’s Broadway Pizza and raised almost $500 in tips in one night last month.
Then there was the basketball game, pitting the Rapid Responders against a team of plungers from Coon Rapids Middle School.
And last week, four local Walgreens stores lent space for plungers to sell bags of popcorn.
Other fund-raising efforts had plungers pledging extra chores around the house in exchange for extra dollars in the Special Olympics fund.
Last year, $86,915 was raised by 431 plungers participating in the Crooked Lake event.
This year $55,812 has been raised so far, and, of course, plungers hope to beat last year’s total.
In addition to the Rapid Responders and Coon Rapids Middle School team, Anoka County teams signed up to take the plunge at Crooked Lake include Blaine Eye Clinic, Ramsey Police, Anoka Middle School for the Arts, the Anoka Masons, Allina Emergency Medical Services, Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Yabba Dabba Doooooooos, the Spunky Plungers, the Sisterhood of the Snow and the Brotherhood of the Brrrr.
To track money raised, to support a specific plunger, or to make a donation, visit www.PolarPlungeMN.org.
Of course, people can watch the Polar Plunge in person and show their support lakeside, too.
For tomorrow’s Crooked Lake plunge free shuttle buses will be available from 10:30 a.m. through the end of the event.
Shuttles will run approximately every 15 minutes from Andover Lanes, 13633 Martin St. N.W., Andover, and from Broadway Pizza, 3420 129th Ave. N.W., Coon Rapids.
There are also limited parking spots available at the Crooked Lake Plunge site, but spectators are encouraged to car pool or take the free shuttle.
To learn more about this year’s Minnesota Polar Bear Plunge visit www.PolarPlungeMN.org.
Sue Austreng is at [email protected]