It’s for folks who just can’t get enough of the cold, snow and ice. It’s for folks who want to raise money for Minnesota Special Olympics. And it’s for folks who maybe, just maybe, want to challenge themselves a little bit.
It is the Polar Plunge, the 2015 Prior Lake Polar Plunge and the 2015 South Metro Polar Plunge to be exact, to be held on this Saturday and next in the south metro area.
The Prior Lake Polar Plunge, organized by the Prior Lake, Savage and Shakopee police and fire departments, the Scott County Sheriff’s Office and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, will be held at noon Saturday at Sand Point Beach, 14349 Crest Av. in Prior Lake.
The South Metro Polar Plunge is set for 1 p.m. Feb. 28 at Crystal Beach, 1100 Crystal Lake Rd. E., in Burnsville. Pre-check in will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 27 at the site. Day-of check in will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
What’s it all about? Well, a big hole is cut in the ice, participants jump in wearing everything from swimsuits to elaborate costumes, walk a few steps and then are helped out at the other end.
It’s breathtaking. Literally.
Savage Police Chief Rodney Seurer called it “invigorating.”
“It makes you feel young again,” he said, adding that he’s plunged in both the Prior Lake and South Metro events for the past seven or eight years. “I talked to a doctor who said that, health-wise, it’s good for you.”
Seurer and his wife also work the registration and incentives tables for the Prior Lake Plunge. They bring in two bus loads of family members from New Prague to the South Metro Plunge.
As of Feb. 13, 32 family members from nieces, nephews and cousins to Seurer’s six brothers and sisters have signed up.
“My brother is a great Special Olympics athlete since he was 8 and he’s now 34 or 35,” Seurer said. “If it weren’t for Special Olympics, he wouldn’t have the quality of life he has now. We’re trying to give back to Special Olympics.”
Each participant in the Plunge must raise pledges of at least $75. Teams must raise $75 or more per person.
Seurer said his team raised over $10,000 last year and hopes to reach that mark again this year.
More than 600 people have already signed up for the Prior Lake Plunge and more than 750 for the South Metro Plunge. Seurer hopes hundreds more register beforehand and at the events.
There’s no age requirement, but plungers under 18 must have a parent or guardian with them.
Changing tents are provided for men and women. No alcohol is permitted.
More than 20 Polar Plunges have been or will be held in Minnesota in 2015. The first were held Jan. 31 in White Bear Lake and Owatonna. The last is scheduled for March 21 in Warroad. More than 15,000 people are expected to participate. As of Feb. 12, almost $1.5 million had been raised.
For more information or to register early, go to www.plungemn.org.