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Feb. 1, 2013
It’s back – the annual Maple Grove Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Minnesota.
The Maple Grove Polar Bear Plunge will be held at Fish Lake Regional Park, located at 14900 Bass Lake Road in Maple Grove. The Plunge begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013.
The event, presented by Minnesota law enforcement to benefit Special Olympics Minnesota, raises for more than 7,100 Special Olympics Minnesota athletes, as they train, compete and transform themselves, their communities and the world.
The plunge location is a new one this year – plungers moving from the previous Weaver Lake Park venue to Fish Lake Regional Park venue.
“The new location was selected to allow for continued growth of both Plungers and spectators. The number of Plungers and spectators continue to increase each year and we needed a location that could accommodate this increase,” Special Olympics Minnesota Marketing and Communications Associate Kristin VanHeel said. “The new location allows for additional tent space, a larger spectator area near the Plunge location and onsite parking for Plungers.”
In addition to having a Maple Grove Police Department team plunging this year, the Maple Grove Police Explorers, Police Reserves, and the Brooklyn Center Police Explorers will be helping out.
“I have seen firsthand what our fundraising efforts do for Special Olympics MN,” Maple Grove Police Detective Brad Holzerland wrote in an email to Patch about why he continues to volunteer. “The money raised provides opportunities for several local Special Olympic athletes to compete in athletic events year round with their friends.”
As of Jan. 31, 726 plungers have registered and more than $100,000 has been raised to benefit Special Olympics Minnesota.
Shakopee resident Nichole Luedtke is among dozens to take the Plunge in 2013. Luedtke, a former employee of Golden Valley-based is plunging for the first time along with 17 others from the nonprofit organization.
Luedtke is “nervous” and “excited” for her first Polar Plunge, but said it will be worth it for money raised for Special Olympics. With friends and family in attendance, she said several members of her team would be dressing up in referee shirts to recognize Super Bowl Sunday. The Workabilities team has already exceeded their team goal – raising $3,772 as of Jan. 31.
In 2012, approximately 940 people took the Plunge in Maple Grove and raised more than $184,000 in support of Special Olympics Minnesota. Funds and registrations will continue to be accepted on the day of the event.
“The Maple Grove Plunge is due to several local partners on the plunge committee, such as the Lookout Bar and Grill that hosts live music for participants to enjoy once they are done plunging,” Holzerland said.
The Lookout Bar and Grill owner Mike Keenan said they continue to be involved in the because it “raises money for a great cause.”
“It really has become a community event,” Holzerland said.
A free shuttle bus route will be available from 10 a.m. through the end of the Plunge. Shuttles will run approximately every 15 minutes from the following locations:
- Lookout Bar and Grill, 8672 Pineview Lane N., Maple Grove, MN 55369
- Basswood Elementary, 15425 Bass Lake Road, Maple Grove, MN 55311
Pre-Plunge Check Saturday, Feb. 2
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fish Lake Regional Park, 14900 Bass Lake Road, Maple Grove, MN 55311
The Plunge begins at 1 p.m.
At The Lookout Bar and Grill
- The Lookout Bar and Grill has a full a range of activities scheduled for plungers. According to The Lookout website, the Maple Grove business will open at 10 a.m. and have buses shuttling plungers to Fish Lake Park. Live music will be continuing from noon to 4 p.m. Following the plunge, The Lookout will host an “After Plunge Party” with prizes, trophies and more.
For more information about the Maple Grove Polar Bear Plunge, teams participating, how to register or donate, visit http://www.plungemn.org/location/maplegrove
SHARE: Are you plunging or watching someone take the plunge? Give a shout out to your team in comments! Are you taking pictures and video of the event? Share them uploading to this post.