Arctic Plunge March 2 on Long Lake

Since 2002, over $250,000 has been raised to help the local fire departments, food shelves and Isanti County Safety & Rescue through the Arctic Plunge.

The 11th Annual Arctic Plunge will be held Saturday, March 2, on Long Lake. The day begins with an Old Fashioned Ice Cutting Demonstration by the Englund Family at 1 p.m., followed by the plunge at 2 p.m. File photos by Elizabeth Sias

The 11th Annual Arctic Plunge will be held Saturday, March 2, on Long Lake. The day begins with an Old Fashioned Ice Cutting Demonstration by the Englund Family at 1 p.m., followed by the plunge at 2 p.m. File photos by Elizabeth Sias

The Arctic Plunge was formed after Herb Knutson took the first plunge into the frigid waters of Long Lake in February 2002 to raise funds for the American Red Cross.

The Arctic Plunge has continued to grow each year, with 2012 including 161 jumpers with approximately 2,000 to 3,000 spectators each year.

Over $29,000 was raised in 2012 to benefit local organizations that included: Cambridge Fire Department, Oak Grove Fire Department, Dalbo Fire Department, Isanti County Safety and Rescue, Children Come First, Isanti Senior Dining, Braham Food Shelf, Spirit River Food Shelf, Helping Hands Food Shelf, Long Lake Lutheran Church Food Shelf, Isanti County Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, Isanti County Law Enforcement Association, U of M Army ROTC and Long Lake Improvement Association.

This year’s event, marking the 11th Anniversary of the Arctic Plunge, will be held Saturday, March 2, with this year’s diamond sponsors as 92 KQRS and Killebrew Root Beer.

Lisa Miller of 92 KQRS, will host this year’s plunge along with Jim Lundeen from Killebrew Root Beer, and Brittany and Cassie from KQRS.

“The Arctic Plunge is great for the community on a variety of levels,” said Miller, who lives on Long Lake in Isanti. “For one, it’s fun. For two, the money raised from the event goes right back into the community. The organizations that benefit are nonprofit or completely volunteer-based. Volunteers are the local heroes and this is a way to say thank you and to keep their valuable services available for all of us. Plus, it’s a also a free family-friendly event.”

Saturday, March 2, events begin with the Old Fashioned Ice Cutting Demonstration at 1 p.m. by the Englund Family with the plunge at 2 p.m. The Killer Hayseeds will begin playing inside Captain’s on Long Lake at 8 p.m.

A pre-registration party will be held at Captain’s on Friday, March 1. Registration will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., with Jonah and the Whales performing at 7:30 p.m. Isanti County Beyond the Yellow Ribbon will sponsor a Chili Feed from 4 to 7 p.m. There will also be hot air balloon rides, sponsored by Freedom Flight, from 4 to 6 p.m., weather permitting.

Free will donations will be accepted for the rides, with all donations supporting the Freedom Flight effort.

“Any time we can get together with our community and our neighbors for a common goal, the result will be solid, strong, and ongoing,” Lundeen said. “The Arctic Plunge committee has been doing amazing work for many years. Their hard work and faith in our community creates a positive result and it is a good reason to get out of the house.”

The first 100 jumpers to register on Friday, March 1, will receive a free commemorative towel and will be entered in a drawing for four Minnesota Twins tickets in the Legends Club donated by Killebrew Root Beer.

Each jumper is asked to raise $100. If you would like to make a pledge for a specific jumper, or if you are a jumper and would like to pay your jumper fee online, visit www. arcticplunge.com.fr_Plunge2

“Those who attend the Arctic Plunge can expect a great time on the ice on a frozen lake,” Miller said. “Last year we made due by altering the layout and using the shoreline, but this year, we will have our bleachers back, hot tub, VIP tents, plenty of parking on the ice and plenty of places to watch the event on the ice. I credit KQRS for embracing this event and donating air time, interns and prizes. I would also like to thank all the organizers of this event as they really do a great job.”

The Pre-Plunge Party at Captains is an opportunity to register to jump in advance, Miller said, plus there will be raffles and one lucky winner gets to be a guest judge.

“Strength in numbers creates positive results,” Lundeen said. “Let’s get our neighbors together and work toward the basic good of our community. The Arctic Plunge committee creates the energy, but it is the sum of all of the parts that allows for good times and good will to happen. Killebrew Root Beer and Killebrew Cream Soda has been a sponsor in some way  since 2006.”

Miller has previously hosted the plunge.

“I absolutely love the spirit of my community,” Miller said.  “I get a great laugh out of people’s costumes and originality in their presentation. I think it helps build a sense of community as well. The jumpers just keep getting more original each year. Also, everyone has a story.  There have been people who jumped because it was on their bucket list, or to face a fear of doing it, or to raise money in honor of someone’s memory…So many great things have come out of this day.”

For  more information visit www.arcticplunge.com or call 763-234-9691.

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