Event set for February 5 on Otter Tail Lake, jumpers sought

Photo by Dani Koenen
The third annual Polar Plunge is set for Feb. 5 on Otter Tail Lake. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Minnesota Special Olympics.

The Polar Plunge is back for the third year in a row. Otter Tail Lakes Country Association (OTLCA) and the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office are partnering in this event to raise money for Special Olympics. The goal is to raise $65,000 in 2022. The event will be held on Feb. 5 at 12 p.m. 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. Last year, 139 plungers on Otter Tail Lake raised $50,850. The money raised accomplishes so much more than getting you to jump into Otter Tail Lake in the winter. The Polar Plunge is the biggest fundraiser for Special Olympics Minnesota. All funds raised by Plungers help Special Olympics Minnesota 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.

“Even with a different event format with COVID-19 restrictions last year, we well exceeded the expectations. I am hoping that this year’s event can make an even bigger impact. I would encourage people to consider joining a team or donating to a team,” said Otter Tail County Sheriff Barry Fitzgibbons. 

Fitzgibbons challenges the public to exceed the goal again this year and looks forward to seeing plungers at the third annual Polar Plunge on Feb. 5 on Otter Tail Lake.

Marketing and Membership Director for OTLCA, Marie Noplos, explained why the organization is partnering with the Sheriff’s Office again this year. 

“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 Noplos.

Sign up to participate in the Polar Plunge this year and raise the $75 minimum to participate, then you are automatically entered to win some cool prizes. Upon check-in and the minimum $75 donation, you will receive a special edition T-shirt. Remember, the more you raise the more incentives you will receive.

Safety measures will be updated as the event gets closer for in-person Plunge sites. If you don’t feel comfortable attending an in-person event you can join the Virtual Plunge and earned incentives will be sent to you. Visit plungemn.org/events/virtual/ for ideas of ways to participate in a virtual plunge. Do NOT attempt to jump into a lake, river, or any other body of water for the Virtual Plunge. 

So far Otter Tail County has raised $1,835 toward the goal of $65,000. 

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