Audrey's Purple Plunge returns Saturday

After a two-year absence, Audrey’s Purple Plunge and fishing tournament to help area residents with cancer will be back on the ice of 11th Crow Wing Lake in Akeley this Saturday.

Jumping into the cold water of 11th Crow Wing Lake to raise money to fight cancer in Audrey's Purple Plunge is just one of the ways to help area residents battling cancer. A fishing tournament is also being held. Prizes will be awarded at the Red River Event Center in Akeley.
2019 Enterprise file photo.

Event organizer Shannah Pidde Geimer said they are excited to be able to hold the event again after the fundraiser was not held in 2020 due to ice conditions and the 2021 event was canceled due to COVID concerns.

This year, all events are back on.

“Two weeks ago, there was a lot of water out there and I was really concerned, but we finally got enough cold weather. They plowed our area already. The ice racers have been out, and plan to be out Saturday, too,” she said.

Geimer said the focus of the fun family event is to help raise money for people fighting cancer.


“Everybody has been touched by cancer in some capacity,” she said. “The money raised through this event stays local. Funds are gifted to local cancer patients. When I say ‘local’ I mean Park Rapids, Akeley, Nevis, Laporte, Walker and Dorset.

“It’s really a ‘feel good’ community event. We have people from all over the state and out of the state who come back every year and do this because it’s helped somebody in their family and they like to come back and support us. It amazes me how we have such a great turnout every year. People look forward to it.

“It’s fun, and I love that the money stays local and makes a difference in people’s lives that we actually know. We always plan for 300-400 for the tournament. With plunging, people just show up. We usually have around 20 plungers.”

There will be a heated fish house on the ice for plungers to warm up after they jump.

Registration for the fishing tournament is from 10 a.m. to noon on the ice. There is a $15 entry fee.

The fishing tournament will be held from noon to 2:30 p.m.and the Purple Plunge will begin at 3 p.m.

Registration forms, pledge sheets for the Purple Plunge and a schedule of events are available at

Fishing tournament prizes and awards will be presented at the Red River Event Center on Hwy. 34, beginning at 4:30 p.m.


Buttons are also being sold for $2 each for a chance to win over 100 door prize drawings with the top prize being $1,000. Tickets are being sold at Akeley businesses and on the ice the day of the tournament. Button raffle drawings will begin at 6 p.m.

A silent auction will be held at the Red River Event Center from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.

There is also a raffle for a 2022 Ice Castle RV Edition. Tickets are $5 each at local area businesses and on the ice the day of the tournament.

The day will conclude with music by the band “Nate’s Fish” at the Red River Event Center from 8 p.m. until midnight.

A "Paint the Town Purple" contest runs through Feb. 12. Area residents who decorate their house, yard or business will compete for prize money donated by the Eastern Hubbard County Fire District. The first place winner will receive $150, the second place winner $100 and the third place winner $50.

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
What To Read Next
Minnesota Diversified Services, LLC, of Park Rapids was incorrectly identified as the subcontractor in a front page Jan. 28 story. That business has nothing to do with the tree removal on Highway 34.
Department heads gave a report on the past year or two at a city council workshop on Jan. 24.
Contest winners are determined by judges from award-winning newspapers in other states.
Some members of the team set up the field and gave demonstrations at the Minnesota School Boards Association convention.