Update: Alexandria Polar Plunge raises nearly $68,000 w/videos, photo slideshows

Check out the videos and photo slideshows from the event, which took place Feb. 25, 2023.

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Andy MacDonald, right, Lure Lakebar's operating partner, jumps with one of Lure Lakebar's favorite patrons, Eric Barrett, in the Alexandria Polar Plunge on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023. Other members of restaurant's team, according to their plunge page, included Mariah Brundell, Jon Brundell, Wesley Morel and Halle Pease. The team raised $921 for Special Olympics Minnesota.
Celeste Edenloff / Alexandria Echo Press

ALEXANDRIA — Jumping into the freezing waters of Lake L'Homme Dieu isn't something people may want to do every day, but on Saturday, Feb. 25 200 people did it for a very good cause – Special Olympics Minnesota.

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Two team members from Knute Kannonballers, Amanda Johnson, left, and Allie Janssen, react to the freezing cold water after taking part in the Polar Plunge. The annual event took place Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, on Lake L'Homme Dieu. Janssen said their team raised $3,000. Other members included Chris Janssen, Alex Evenson, Casey Olson and Angie Sudbeck.
Celeste Edenloff / Alexandria Echo Press

The annual Alexandria Polar Plunge, which took place in front of Lure Lakebar and Zorbaz on Feb. 25, 2023, had raised nearly $68,000 as of Monday morning, said one of the event organizers, Keith Melrose.

Melrose, a sergeant with the Alexandria Police Department, said the day went really well and that the new location, which is actually the original location, worked great. He said with the smaller area and with help from law enforcement students, the setup went smooth and quickly.

"I talked to the managers of both restaurants and they said the event went really well for them," said Melrose. However, he did say that the parking lots filled up quickly and that for next year's event, he will be looking into shuttling participants from another location.

He also noted that because the depth of the lake where the plunge was going to take place was about 25 feet, a cage was built and set in the water to help keep the plungers safe. The cage was built and donated by Alexandria Industries.


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Representatives from the Alexandria Police Department and Alexandria Industries pose for a photo with the cage that Alexandria Industries built and donated to the Alexandria Polar Plunge.
Lowell Anderson / Alexandria Echo Press

"It worked amazing," said Melrose, noting how appreciative he was of Alexandria Industries' donation of the cage to the plunge. "It really helped."

Although the plunge is done for this year, Melrose said donations are still being accepted and that people can donate up until the end of the plunging season. Donations can be made on the Alexandria Polar Plunge website,

The annual event took place on Lake L'Homme Dieu Saturday, Feb. 25, in front of Zorbaz and Lure Lakebar.

Celeste Edenloff is the special projects editor and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
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