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Otter Tail Lake Polar Plunge sets $65K goal for Special Olympics Minnesota

The goal is to raise $65,000 for Special Olympics Minnesota this year. The plunge will happen Feb. 5, 2022 at noon on Otter Tail Lake.

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Team Purple Plungers, who collectively raised nearly $9,000 for Special Olympics Minnesota, take the plunge into Otter Tail Lake on Saturday, March 13. (Meg E. Perry / Perham Focus)
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The Otter Tail Lake Polar Plunge is back for the third year in a row.

Otter Tail Lakes Country Association and the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office are partnering on the event to raise money for Special Olympics.

The goal is to raise $65,000 in 2022. The event will take place on Feb. 5, 2022 at noon on Otter Tail Lake.

The Polar Plunge is presented by the Law Enforcement Torch Run, a movement of volunteers dedicated to increasing awareness and funds for Special Olympics athletes across the state, according to a Lakes Country news release. Last year, 139 plungers on Otter Tail Lake raised $50,850.

The Polar Plunge is the biggest fundraiser for Special Olympics Minnesota . All funds raised by plungers help provide year-round training and services to over 8,100 athletes across the state. For example, a $300 donation provides the necessary equipment for an entire young athlete’s season.

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"I am hoping that this year’s event can make an even bigger impact," said Otter Tail County Sheriff Barry Fitzgibbons. "I would encourage people to consider joining a team or donating to a team.”

Fitzgibbons challenges the public to exceed the goal again this year and looks forward to seeing plungers at the event.

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Those who sign up to participate in the Polar Plunge this year and raise the $75 minimum to do so are automatically entered to win prizes. Upon check-in and the minimum donation, plungers will receive a special edition T-shirt. The more money raised, the more incentives there will be for the plunger, according to the release.
“This event is a great way for our communities to unite. Challenges, incentives, and friendly competitions to see who can raise the most money are fun ways to get everyone involved, even if they are not plunging into the frozen lake,” said Marie Noplos, Otter Tail Lakes Country Association marketing and membership director.

Safety measures will be updated as the event gets closer for in-person plunge sites. Those who don’t feel comfortable attending an in-person event may join the virtual plunge and earned incentives will be sent out. Visit plungemn.org/events/virtual/ for ideas of ways to participate in a virtual plunge. The event hosts say to not attempt to jump into a lake, river or any other body of water for the virtual plunge.

Otter Tail County had raised $2,321 toward the goal of $65,000 as of Nov. 18. Anyone may donate.

For more information and to register, visit plungemn.org/events/ottertail/ .

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