Polar plunge: Brave locals dive into Akeley’s ‘answer to cancer’ event
Eleventh Crow Wing Lake in Akeley was abuzz -- or, more accurately, aburrrrrrr -- with Audrey's Purple Dream activities. Both temperatures and polar plungers took a noticeable dip Saturday. It was 20 below zero in the morning, and the high for th...
Eleventh Crow Wing Lake in Akeley was abuzz - or, more accurately, aburrrrrrr - with Audrey's Purple Dream activities.
Both temperatures and polar plungers took a noticeable dip Saturday. It was 20 below zero in the morning, and the high for the day was 7 below.
"It's a chilly one today, isn't it?" said Tina Monroe, who served as mistress of ceremonies for the plunge portion of the day. Monroe also is a member of the organizing committee.
But frigid air and icy lakewater didn't dissuade the 23 plungers who pledged to raise money for local families fighting cancer. They collected $8,134 for the Audrey's Purple Dream Foundation.
This was 14th year that Audrey's Purple Dream has been held in honor of Akeley resident Audrey Pidde, who was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2004. Her dream was to take a trip to Alaska, but she passed away before that trip was realized.
To date, the nonprofit has gifted over $112,00 to help 100 locals fighting cancer.
Many plungers paid tribute to their own loved ones. Kaia Dunham, 16, of Akeley jumped for her grandpa, who is currently fighting brain, lung and bone cancer. She raised $460.
The Fan Favorite Purple Plunger trophy went to Sam Hitchcock of Akeley. He raised the most pledges in the "16 and older" age group, collecting $1,104. Currently serving in the U.S. Army, Hitchcock said he participated to honor all of his loved ones who have passed away from cancer.
The Monroe sisters, Morgan and Taylor, raised the most pledges in the "under 16" age group, garnering $2,746. Both are from Akeley. They took home a plaque for most money raised overall. Both said they were keen to help cancer patients pay their medical bills.
According to organizer Shannah (Pidde) Geimer, 255 fisherfolk registered for the fishing tournament, with 153 fish entered.
First place for the largest fish went to Marlan Fickle of Nevis for a 2 lb., 4 oz. Walleye. The 10th largest fish was caught by Jerry Tesch of Akeley for the $1,000 prize.
Denise Crandall of Akeley won a money vest, while Donna Strandlie of Walker took home the mystery box.
Levon Voshell of Akeley captured the $1,000 button prize drawing.
Finally, the Ice Castle fish house was won by Rollie King of Frazee.
Paint the Town Purple Contest first-place winners were Chelsea and Chris Powers. They won $150 for their efforts. Zappy's Cafe took second and the $100 prize. Third place went to Bobbie and John Wosika. They accepted a $50 prize.
After expenses are paid, Geimer said this year's event raised roughly $28,200.
The 15th annual Audrey's Purple Dream is already slated for Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020.