Into the ice-cold waters of Lake Calhoun on March 5 in Minneapolis went a weatherman in a wacky winged outfit, 40 identically clad gnomes, a bride and an Elvis impersonator. They were among some 3,000 people who dove or jumped into a large hole cut in the lake ice to raise money for Special Olympics Minnesota. Cummins Power Generation was also there.
A mobile generator from Cummins Power Generation supplied all the power needed for this fundraising event for the Special Olympics, including electricity for the PA system, changing rooms, hot tubs and the giant inflatable polar bear that served as the dramatic entrance point for the plungers.
Plunges are a part of the year-round fundraising program called the Law Enforcement Torch Run, through which law enforcement personnel from across Minnesota raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics Minnesota. The Minneapolis event raised $600,000. All 14 of the 2011 plunges combined — in which nearly 11,000 weather-braving plungers participated — have raised a total of $2.2 million.