Polar plunge is coming to Crooked Lake

by Peter Bodley
Managing Editor

Crooked Lake Beach in Coon Rapids will be the site of the Special Olympics Polar Bear Plunge Saturday, Feb. 11 and the Coon Rapids Police Department (CRPD) will be taking part.

The 10-strong CRPD team will include members of the police department and their spouses.

Jumping into the frozen lake will be officers Brian Beedle, Bryan Platz, Troy Kemp, Billy Johnson, Michelle Coffey, Sgt. Daren Keasling and community service officers Dan Freiberg and Josh Pirkola.

Officer’s spouses taking the plunge will be Martin Nelson and Kimberly Beedle.

According to Platz, Beedle and Anoka County Sheriff’s Deputy Ann Bluml worked very hard with the Special Olympics committee just to get an event in the county.

“It is the first ever event {polar bear plunge} to be held in Coon Rapids or Anoka County,” Platz said.

Indeed, the CRPD team members are not the only polar plungers.

“Currently, we have over 100 plungers signed up to take the plunge,” Platz said.

Team CRPD is currently in second place statewide for law enforcement agencies in fund-raising pledges for the Minnesota Special Olympics event, according to Platz.

“To date, we have raised $1,607 with a goal of $4,675,” Platz said.

The police department team is having an all-you-can-eat pizza fund-raiser at Broadway Pizza in Coon Rapids Tuesday, Jan. 17, 4 to 8 p.m., and is selling raffle tickets for the event.

Tickets can be purchased at Broadway Pizza anytime. The cost is $11; that’s $1 cheaper than the buffet costs at regular price, Platz said.

“We need help to become No. 1,” he said.

Donations to any team member can be made at www.plungemn.org, click on Coon Rapids Police Department and select a plunger.

“You pledge, we plunge,” said Platz.

Crooked Lake is one of 16 polar bear plunge locations in the state for the 2012 event, which will take place on various dates in January, February and March.

The event is presented by Law Enforcement for Special Olympics Minnesota, which also stages the law enforcement torch run in the summer, the largest grassroots fund-raiser and public awareness vehicle for Special Olympics in the world.

Besides law enforcement, polar plunge pledge categories include corporations, schools, restaurants and others.

Plunge sponsors include US Bank, Kwik Trip stores, Fox 9 News, United Healthcare, FSNorth, Clear Channel, Walmart, Lions International, JNBA Financial Services, Cowboy Jack, All Over Media, BNSF, Groupon, Grand Casino Mille Lacs and Malt O Meal.

Special Olympics Minnesota offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round sports training and competition.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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