Sunday, March 6, 2011

Polar Bear Plunge - Masons of Minnesota

On March 5, 2011 a team called Masons of Minnesota took the Polar Bear Plunge at Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis, MN. The team was put together to support our Deputy Grand Master, Thomas Hendrickson who is a Minneapolis Police Officer.

The Polar Bear Plunge — presented by Minnesota law enforcement as part of their year-round Law Enforcement Torch Run® events — is a unique opportunity for individuals, organizations and businesses to support Special Olympics Minnesota athletes by jumping into frigid Minnesota waters. It consists of 14 different events that take place across Minnesota during the coldest months of the year. From January through March, the Plunge crews travel around the state to 14 different communities with one goal in mind: raise funds for Special Olympics Minnesota!

Plunge Facts
Did you know this will be the 14th year of the Polar Bear Plunge in Minnesota? The first Plunge took place in Minnesota at Como Lake in 1998 and had 65 participants who raised $20,000.

In 2005, 1000 plungers raised $275,000 at 5 Plunge locations. By 2008, Minnesota had 11 plunges, 3,500 participants, and raised $725,000. Just two years after that, in 2010, the Polar Bear Plunge took place in 13 different locations, included over 7000 participants, and raised $1.4 million!

At this rate, just imagine what 2011 will bring!

RWB Thomas Hendrickson's goal was to help support the organization and to get masons working in the communities we live in and to show the public Masons do care and are willing to help others. Their were 13 masons who were part of the team which raised approximately $3,075 for the event, including matching fund from MN Masonic Charities the total raised was $6,150. The team members were MWB Andy Rice, RWB Thomas Hendrickson, and the following brothers: John Gann, Rick Wallace, Robert Peterson, Kris Pich, Paul Scofield, Chuck Hendrickson, Doug Beach, Matthew Lundgren, Matt Fuller,Jason Pibal, and myself. The goal for next year is to get more Masonic Teams organized so they can take the plunge at lakes nearby their communities. Stay tuned for more information to following the coming months.

I would personally like to thank all of my sponsors who contributed on my behalf. I exceeded the goal I set thanks to each and everyone of them. They were as follows: MWB Thomas McCarthy and his wife Patty; MWB Roger Taylor and his wife Nancy Fischer; Sue Lentner, Owner of Your Travel Agency; WB Bob Holly and his wife Barbara, WB Larry Austin and his wife Julie; Gary and Debbie Heltemes; Lisa Pfannenstein; Nancy Frank; Dallas O'Dell; Cathy Thielman; and my loving wife Kathy Darling.