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Record number attends Akeley fishing tourney

A flyin' Purple Plunger, Brandy Vredenburg of Akeley, celebrated her birthday with a dip in 11th Crow Wing Lake Saturday. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)1 / 5
Roger Geimer, decked out in his purple finest, took the challenge in honor of friends and family who have battled cancer. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)2 / 5
A cause to yodel, Laura Powers' expression is one of a veteran in the event, knowing what she's about to endure. She arrives each year in costume for the chiller to raise money to assist those battling cancer, this year named "Fans' Favorite." Both the fishing tourney and plungers set new records.3 / 5
Shannah Geimer was among the daring divas who jumped in 11th Crow Wing Lake Saturday, the event in honor of her late mother, Audrey Pidde. She said the warm weather, which drew more plungers, actually made the dip more drastic. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)4 / 5
Gavin Hitchcock, 14, below, rose (fell) to the challenge in honor of his grandmother, who's battling cancer. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)5 / 5

Akeley's Answer to Cancer, Audrey's Purple Dream, drew a record number of fisherfolk - 239 dropped lines - and the highest total donations to date for the Purple Plunge - the daring sea creatures raising $7,605.

A grand total of $14,275 was raised at the 6th annual event held Saturday on 11th Crow Wing Lake. Proceeds are disbursed to area residents battling cancer, "so they can live out a dream."

Twenty-five took the plunge, balmy weather contributing to the turnout. Ten children jumped in, with Kaia Dunham, 8, the youngest.

Plunger Rita Holland raised the most money, $3,071, breaking a previous record set by Steve Kacienda, who brought in $3,060 in 2005.

Fans' Favorite Award was claimed by Laura Powers, who hopped in wearing alpine apparel.

The top three fishing tourney winners were Neil Lockwood, first, who claimed a Clam Kenie fish house; Josh Surber, a Tom Tom GPS, and Jerry Ammerman, $1,000 cash.

The grand prize winners of the 42-inch flat screen TV were Duane and Cina Pidde.

A complete list of button prize and fishing tournament winners can be found on the Audrey's Purple Dream website by week's end.

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