Winter Plunge to anchor 2nd annual FLake Festival

Start thinking about ‘Gettin’ Cold for a Cause’

Jennifer Mevissen
Community Editor

The temperatures have started to dip, which means it’s time to start thinking about the Forest Lake Rotary Club’s “Gettin’ Cold for a Cause” 3rd annual Winter Plunge. The event will anchor the second year of the FLake Festival.

Activities get underway Friday, Feb. 17 and continue through the next weekend. The Forest Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, along with sponsor Roberts Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, are presenting the 2012 FLake Festival.

Blake Roberts, club member and past Rotary president, said there is some concern with how warm the weather has been lately.

“This is usually the coldest weeks of winter,” he said.

In 2011, 450 plungers raised around $110,000, a majority of which the proceeds will go towards local non-profits.

“It all goes back to the community,” Roberts said.

Even the money the Rotary Club receives in part for hosting the Winter Plunge finds its way to Forest Lake – whether through high school scholarships awarded or the new street banners, just to name a few.

Roberts said they’re on target to meet the same kind of numbers for participants and donations. He said they’re still looking for teams.

“This thing always comes together last minute,” Roberts added.

At a council workshop earlier this month, Mayor Chris Johnson encouraged city staff to participate in the event.

Last winter, the law firm of Johnson & Turner plunged for The Refuge Network. Collectively, the group raised around $4,000 for the non-profit based in Cambridge.

“We haven’t chosen what the cause will be this year yet or began soliciting contributions,” Johnson noted.

Participants can sign-up on Feb. 18 at Vannelli’s by the Lake between 10 a.m. and noon. Plunging begins promptly at 12 p.m.

Amongst the flurry of activities, hunters will be searching for the 2012 medallion that is hidden in one of the city of Forest Lake’s many parks, except for Lakeside and Fenway.

To take home $500 for unearthing the acrylic object, the finder must have purchased a button for the medallion hunt. The cost is $5 each and can be purchased at area businesses. There’s also $500 on the line for a button buyer in a raffle drawing.

Below is a schedule of the activities:

Friday, Feb. 17

• 5-9 p.m. Pond hockey tournament on Forest Lake.

• 6:30-7:30 Registration at Vannelli’s by the Lake for the Winter Plunge.

Saturday, Feb. 18

• 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pond hockey tournament on Forest Lake.

• 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ice sculpture demonstrations at Lakeside Memorial Park will be on display until melted.

• 10 a.m. to noon Registration at Vannelli’s by the Lake for the Winter Plunge.

• 12 p.m. Winter Plunge begins.

Sunday, Feb. 19

• 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Frozen 35K Bike Race starts at Lakeside Memorial Park and ends on Forest Lake.

Monday, Feb. 20

• All-day open skate on pond hockey rink.

Thursday, Feb. 23

• 6-10 p.m. Progressive dinner – enjoy appetizers at Stella’s on 97, a dinner at Vannelli’s by the Lake and finish with dessert at Village Inn. Don’t worry about driving to each location; catch the party bus and ride with other community people. The cost is $40 per person.

Saturday, Feb. 25

• 8 a.m. FLAAA Snoball Tourney on Forest Lake.

• 6 p.m. Bonfire on the beach at Lakeside Memorial Park.

Sunday, Feb. 26

• 8 a.m. FLAAA Snoball Tourney on Forest Lake.

Colleen Eddy, Chamber president, said organizers are excited to have two new activities this year; the bike race and softball tournament.

The Fishapalooza contest has been cancelled this year due to low turnout. (For more information, read the story on Page 10.) 

Details about the FLake Festival can be found online at the Chamber’s website, or by visiting the Rotary Club’s “Gettin’ Cold for a Cause” homepage: