Picture this: beautiful Pelican Lake in Breezy Point on a nice cold winter day. Ahhh, doesn't it just make you want to take a dip into the lake?
It may sound crazy, but on March 8 taking a dip into Pelican Lake is what many Brainerd lakes area residents and others will do to raise awareness and money for the Special Olympics Minnesota.
The event - the Polar Bear Plunge: Freezin' For a Reason - is sponsored by the Minnesota Law Enforcement Torch Run. Several of these events are being held around the state from January through March.
This will be the third year Brainerd lakes area law enforcement agencies are hosting the Polar Bear Plunge at Breezy Point Resort.
If you go:
Third annual Polar Bear Plunge.
March 8 at Breezy Point Resort.
Registration, 10 a.m. to noon; Kiddie Plunge, 11 a.m.; and the plunge, 1 p.m.
Cost is $75 a person.
For more information Call Polar Bear Plunge coordinator Andy Rooney at 838-3154.
Baxter Police investigator Andy Rooney, who's coordinating the plunge, said the event is held to raise funds for the Special Olympics for training expenses, travel and other costs needed to support thousands of athletes.
"It's all about these athletes," said Rooney. "We in the law enforcement community go to these many different events and to be able to see the smiles on these athletes' faces is something one cannot describe, but has to experience. They work hard and the funding that will be raised will help them to live their dreams."
Rooney said there will be about 40 law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency management service people who will be volunteering at the event.
As of Tuesday, Rooney said there were 30 teams consisting of 135 people who registered online for the plunge. Last year around the same time period only seven people were registered online. So, Rooney is hopeful for a good turnout. Last year there were 208 plungers who raised $46,000.
People interested in taking the plunge may register online at www.specialolympicsminnesota.org or they can pick up plunge information or pledge forms at the Baxter and Brainerd police departments, Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department, Brainerd Chamber of Commerce and BL Broadcasting. Cost is $75 per person.
On the day of the plunge, registration begins at 10 a.m. and goes to noon. At noon there will be a costume contest and then the plunge will follow at 1 p.m.
Costume contest awards will go to the Best Male costume, Best Female costume, Best Team costume, Oldest Plunger and Youngest Plunger.
For the first time this year there will be a Kiddie Plunge that will begin at 11 a.m., for children ages 4-10. No pledges will be necessary for the Kiddie Plunge, but donations will be accepted.
"We wanted to make this more of a family event," said Rooney. "We'll have a pool of water for the kids to jump in. We encourage families to come out and have some fun."
Rooney said there will be a hot tub near the plunging area and warm, changing tents for people after they take the plunge to help with the chill. There also will be divers in the water to help.
After the plunge, entertainment will be provided by D.J. Tyrone Blue.
JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5851.
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