In my 20-plus years here at the Daily Globe, I’ve covered a lot of unusual events, but I’m pretty sure that Saturday’s Deep Freeze Dip will stick out in my memories some day when I reflect on my career here.
It wasn’t the first time I stood out on the frozen surface of a lake as part of my reporting duties. That would probably be the year I covered the Okoboji Winter Games and had the opportunity to take a bracing ride in a hot air balloon, culminating in a crash landing in a field.
It wasn’t even the first time I covered a “polar plunge” type event. I’m pretty sure I did that a number of years ago at Okoboji, too.
But this was the first time I knew many of the participants personally. And this time, it was for an amazing cause — sending veterans to see their memorial in Washington, D.C., via Southwest Minnesota Honor Flight — and the sense of community pride out there on that ice was just amazing.
Organizers have told me they plan to make the Deep Freeze Dive an annual event in conjunction with Worthington’s Winter Fest. They know it’s unlikely that such an event will raise more than $40,000 again, but they hope to find another worthy charity to benefit from people being willing to take a flying leap into the lake.
I probably won’t have weekend duty when the Winter Fest weekend rolls around next year, but I have a feeling, working or not, I’ll be out there to watch this amazing event without having to write about it.
Just don’t expect me to be among the crazy people who will jump in the water. I’m a pledger, not a plunger.