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Brace yourself for the Plunge

Participants, get ready to jump -- or fall -- into Little Detroit Lake during the 17th annual Polar Plunge. Brian Basham/Record1 / 2
Even Popeye can find the frigid waters of Detroit Lake a little breath taking. Brian Basham/Record2 / 2

The hot tubs just weren't working out, so this year the Boys and Girls Club is having a heated tent to prepare jumpers and warm those who have already jumped.

"Our goal every year is to do something to improve the plunge and this is this year's," Executive Director Pat Petermann said.

The Feb. 16 plunge also returns to the Pavilion area where there will be games inside the Pavilion and food and beverages for sale. There will also be a live feed of the plunge so those not willing to risk the cold can watch from indoors.

But, Petermann promises, it won't be cold that day.

One other change this year is the cost to jump has increased to $50.

"One, it's a fundraiser, and two, it's easy to go out and raise $50 and then some."

Petermann said about one-third of the jumpers last year only raised $50 to jump, so it shouldn't be a big deal for this year. Hopefully, instead, it will give people more of an incentive to raise money for a good cause.

Another incentive? The prizes.

Individuals raising more than $500 have a chance at $500 in cash; those raising $1,000 or more have a shot at $1,000 in cash. The team raising the most in pledges will win a summer pontoon party for up to 12 people.

Prizes for best individual and group costumes are $200 for first place, $100 for second and $50 for third.

Individual costume contest winners also receive a free pair of three-day general admission passes to WE Fest.

Those jumping this year will also be able to enjoy the warmth of the heated trailer that's been converted into changing rooms.

Last year, the club raised $40,000 through the plunge, and 231 people jumped. This year's goal is $50,000 with 250 jumpers.

Again this year is the business challenge with Country Financial, BTD, First Security Bank and TIP participating thus far.

Early registration for the plunge is Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Pavilion, and registration the day of the jump is from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

There will also be a pancake and French toast feed Saturday morning from 7 to 10:30 in the Pavilion courtesy of the Knights of Columbus.

During the plunge, the Jaycees will be selling brats, hot dogs, chili and beverages in the Pavilion.

Commemorative steins

"Different color, different style," Petermann said of the 2013 steins.

Last year the Boys and Girls Club sold all but seven of the 300 mugs they ordered for the first time, and this year they're aiming for 300 mugs sold again.

As it was last year, those purchasing the 24-ounce commemorative ceramic steins can get two-for-one tap beers now through Feb. 16 at Lakeside Tavern, Burnside's Charhouse, Holiday Beach Bar & Grill, Bleachers, BJ's Barbecue Shack, Sunlite, Speak Easy and the Hostel Hornet in Frazee.

"Another twist to the mug deal," Petermann said is the addition of coffee specials with a mug.

For those not interested in beer, the Social Cup, La Barista and Central Market's Nash's offer $1 drip coffee or $1 off any espresso drink now through Feb. 16 as well.

All of the money raised through the Polar Plunge benefits the Boys and Girls Club. Petermann said the club is "bursting at the seams."

The club averages 140 kids a day, and in 2012, it served over 40,000 meals and snacks.

For more information on the plunge or to register to jump, visit or contact Sue at 847-5700 ext. 4 or e-mail

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.