Cold But Successful Rochester Polar Bear Plunge
The numbers were down from last year but the 2014 Polar Bear Plunge in Rochester was another huge success. Spokesman Kevin Torgerson says a total of 880 plungers made the jump into the cold water at Foster Arend Park Friday and Saturday and they raised over $200,000. Torgerson says the preliminary total is $203,000. That's down about $30,000 from last year - but there were 73 fewer jumpers this year. Torgerson blames the extended cold weather for a drop in the number. He also suspects the number may also have been affected by this year's earlier date ( one week earlier ).
One of those who jumped this year was Mike Dimond, general manager of Fox Sports North TV. He was talked into making 7 jumps by the super jumpers who were there Friday. Dimond has vowed to take part in all 17 of the Polar Bear Plunge events in Minnesota this year. The events are held to benefit Minnesota's Special Olympics. Rochester has traditionally been one of the largest in terms of jumpers and donations.
Rochester area Special Olympics athlete Anne MacGillivray raised the most money among the non-super plungers with a total of nearly $3,000. Torgerson says she has traditionally been one of the largest fundraisers for the event.
This was one of the coldest Plunge events held in Rochester. Air temperatures during the jump times Friday and Saturday were mainly in the single digits. The water temperature was barely above freezing.