Actor Josh Duhamel is known locally for his occasional, impromptu stops at various Detroit Lakes-area hot spots — including the community center and Zorbaz — over the years. But his planned Feb. 13 appearance at a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes will be at a much colder spot — frigid, in fact.
Duhamel is scheduled to be the designated "Proxy Plunger" for the 25th Annual Polar Fest Plunge on Saturday, Feb. 13, though his plunge into the icy water will not occur live.
"It will be filmed before the event, at an undisclosed location," explained Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Pat Petermann. "We're excited, though it's not going to be the same (as having live plungers)."
The secret taping is being done for two reasons, he added — to fit in with the actor's schedule, and to prevent the potential gathering of large, starstruck crowds of fans due to pandemic safety concerns.
The pandemic is, of course, also the reason why the Plunge is going virtual this year, as the event typically draws hundreds of spectators to Little Detroit Lake every February. What won't change, however, is the way that funds are being raised.
Volunteers who sign up to participate are tasked with going out into the community and raising funds, usually for their own plunge into freezing water — but this year, they will all be raising money for Duhamel's "Proxy Plunge," which will be streamed online via the Club's website, bgcdl.org, as well as its Facebook and Instagram pages.
In return for signing up, volunteers will be made eligible for a series of "cool" incentives: Every time a volunteer hits a certain dollar level for total pledges collected, they will earn a different prize, ranging from customized Plunge t-shirts and neck gaiters all the way up to Air Pods and a $100 Visa gift card. There will also be a special prize for the individual who raises the largest amount of pledges. All pledges must be turned in by Friday, Feb. 12 to be eligible for the incentives.
"All of the prizes are donated," said Alyssa Hoskins, the club's marketing and communications director.
Prizes for the raffle that is being held in conjunction with the event are all donated as well, she added. Each $10 raffle ticket sold between now and 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13, when the drawing will be held at the club, will give the holder an opportunity to win prizes including two 75-inch, high-definition TVs; a $1,000 gift certificate to purchase Amish furniture at the Boys & Girls Club Thrift Store; a $900 PowerHouse generator; gift cards for Cenex, Price's Fine Jewelry and Papa Murphy's Pizza; as well as a couple of $100 cash prizes.
"We have some great prizes," Hoskins said. "There are only 1,500 tickets available, so don't wait."
Tickets are available for purchase at the Boys & Girls Club Thrift Store, Central Market, and at the club itself.
In honor of the Plunge's 25th anniversary, past participants will also be able to earn a chance at winning a cash prize, according to Hoskins.
"We're calling it the PFP Hashtag Challenge," she said. "The prize is $250 in cold, hard cash to one lucky winner."
Past plungers can enter the contest by posting photos or video clips on their social media pages, using hashtags #PlungeByProxy or #PFP2021.
The photos and videos "should reflect the spirit of the Polar Fest Plunge," Petermann said. Some suggestions include images of people taking the plunge in years past, or wearing PFP swag.
Altogether, the club will be giving away $5,500 in cash and prizes, he added.
If you go
What: The 25th Annual Polar Fest Plunge, featuring "Proxy Plunger" Josh Duhamel
When: Saturday, Feb. 13
Where: Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes website, bgcdl.org, and the club's social media pages
Ticket Info: Free of charge, though the club will also be selling raffle tickets for $10 each between now and 3 p.m. Feb. 13, when the drawing will be held at the club (150 Richwood Road, Detroit Lakes).