As sure as there is ice at the Winter Plunge, it seems a group from the Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau will entertain the crowd with high energy and creative costumes.
The organization has plunged each year and often ranks among the leading teams for funds raised. It’s the plunging performance that has turned heads, though. One year, members impersonated The Blue Man Group with full body paint. (The result led plunge organizers to ban body paint.)
Other costumes have included ‘80s rockers and Nordic warriors. This year, the LAYSB team will walk the plank as pirates.
“It’s a fun fundraiser that a lot of our families and friends choose to donate to because of its uniqueness,” said the community justice program manager.
The group has used the Winter Plunge to raise a yearly average of $1,700. This year, pledges have already topped $2,500, meaning the team will be approaching $10,000 raised in five years.
The bureau takes in a higher amount of funds at its own annual events, Howard said, but the Winter Plunge is an easier sell to potential donors.
“If you’re crazy enough to jump in a lake, then you must really love where you work or love your cause,” he said. “It’s a statement about how much you care.”
Howard said plunging has been more difficult each year as he approaches 40, but it’s worth it.
“It’s a short-term pain for a long-term reward,” he said.
Donations to teams participating in the Winter Plunge can be made at winterplunge.kintera.org.