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In 2013, 4-year-old Ryder Lenarz plunged with assistance from his grandpa Jeff. (Contributed)

Ryder's not so quiet riot

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By Annie Harman

The Polar Bear Plunge is reserved for the brave and slightly insane who are willing to submerge themselves into a frozen over lake. Perhaps the craziest and bravest of them all is 5-year-old Ryder Lenarz.

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Ryder decided that he wanted to join in the Polar Bear Plunge fun in 2013 after seeing his Grandpa Jeff participate the previous year. Being close with his Uncle Brett, who has an athlete in the Special Olympics while in school, Ryder had no qualms with raising over $1000 to go towards the Special Olympics. He also had a preschool classmate who was special needs and wanted to help other kids like her.

“There was nothing bad about last year,” Ryder said when asked about his previous plunge.

Since Ryder had so much fun last year, he’s decided to jump again. This time, not only will be jumping without assistance, but he will be joined by an entire team.

Ryder’s Not so Quiet Riot currently had nine members, including the star himself and his Uncle Brett. Their goal is to raise a total of $2,175 to help the Special Olympics while Ryder hopes to raise $750 himself. Besides asking people to help with his cause, Ryder’s family also hung up flyers endorsed with “Freezin’ for a reason!”

As a now experience plunger, Ryder understands that there’s prep work involved.

“Sometimes I take cold showers,” he said. “And I rolled in the snow once!”

Ryder said that he is most looking forward to jumping in with his team and causing the water to go above the ice with their big splash.

“It’s really fun and for a good cause,” Ryder said. “Everyone should come watch!”

The Polar Bear Plunge in Alexandria will be on February 23, beginning at 1 p.m., at the Arrowwood Resort. To support Ryder in his second Polar Bear Plunge and help his team reach their goal visit plungemn.org/plunger/ryderlenarz.

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Annie Harman
Annie Harman is a reporter for Echo Press and The Osakis Review. She grew up in Detroit Lakes and graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire with a degree in print journalism and history in May 2012. Follow her on Twitter at annieharman
(320) 763-1233
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