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Taking the Polar Fest Plunge helps support & raises awareness for the hundred of youth served at the Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes every year!

2024 Polar Fest Plunge

Begin your individual fundraiser, create a team or join a team by clicking the button below!

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Saturday, February 24, 2023

Commit

Commit to "Chill for the Children"

Ask

Ask others to support your bravery

Fun

Get ready for a fun day!

Goal

$0
OF OUR $50,000 GOAL

Top Teams

Top Individuals

2023 Plunge Videos

How To Get Started
CreateJoinRaiseEarn

Get Started in With these 3 simple steps!

01
Create or Join a Team
Join an existing team or create a new team to help you raise pledges
02
Raise Pledges
You can earn COOL incentives while making a difference in the lives of local youth!
03
Earn Incentives
Every time you hit a $$$ level in pledges, you earn that prize! I.E. Raise $500 and earn the first 5 prizes!

CHILLIN’ FOR THE CHILDREN

Bring A Team

The Polar Fest Plunge isn’t just for individuals! In fact, most of our Plungers form teams and get family members, friends, coworkers or other groups of people to bond while showing support for Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes.

Recruit

Sign Up

Sign up to plunge solo or find team members who share your enthusiasm for the event (and a co-captain—every Skipper needs a Gilligan, right?)

Set a goal for the number of team members you want to have & the amount of pledges you want to raise

 

Motivate

Motivate

Show your spirit for the event by raising the minimum $50 pledge – but, don’t stop there! There are lots of other great incentives for raising more.

Start planning a great costume and stay connected with your teammates to watch your fundraising progress.

Watch the leaderboard at to see who is raising the most! Also, follow the Club’s Facebook page to learn more about the great mission you are supporting – facebook.com/boysgirlsdl.

Educate

Plunge

Chill for the Children by taking the Polar Fest Plunge and be proud of your bravery and generosity!

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ABOUT US

Empowering Young Minds for a Brighter Tomorrow

The Polar Fest Plunge is a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes. Founded in 1957, our Boys & Girls Club has a long history of providing services to local youth that help them BE GREAT academically, socially, and civically. By Plunging, you are supporting our mission plus—you will have a blast! You just register, raise some pledges, show up in a crazy costume, use our saunas to warm up, and JUMP IN!

Our Sponsors

Bell Bank Logo
TS Dock & Lift
BTD

RIVALRIES & RESOURCES

A little competition never hurt anyone, right?

If you are a team captain, consider challenging a similar group (i.e. school group, church group, service club, or restaurant) to some friendly competition! Compete against one another to raise pledges for Boys & Girls Club. Remember, the team raising the most pledges will receive the traveling Polar Fest Plunge trophy to display for the winter!

By the way—if you do spark some friendly competition, let us know what you are doing—we might be able to help you promote it!

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INCENTIVES YOU CAN EARN

Individual Incentives

 EVERY TIME YOU HIT A $$$ LEVEL IN PLEDGES, YOU EARN THAT PRIZE! I.E. RAISE $500 AND EARN THE FIRST 5 PRIZES!

These incentives are for individuals ONLY, so if you register as part of a team, be sure you know what your individual contribution is!

Coming Soon!

Team Incentives

For The Team Raising The Most Pledges:

$500 Cash Will Be Given To The Team Captain

*Remember, only pledges turned in at check-in will count toward total pledges raised and the incentive prizes you can receive. Outstanding pledges will not count—so try your best to turn in all checks and cash collected as well as a copy of the online donations you received!

Costume Contest

Prizes for the top 4 team or individual costumes are:

1st

$250

2nd

$150

3rd

$75

4th

$50

Dates

Important Dates to Remember

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IMPORTANT for Registration & Check-In

  •  YOU CAN BOTH REGISTER OR CHECK-IN IN-PERSON ON FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23TH OR SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24TH AT THE LAKE SHIRTS BEACH SHOP.
  • IF YOU ARE REGISTERED AND CHECKED-IN BY FRIDAY AT 7:30PM YOU CAN QUALIFY TO WIN AN RIIC INSULATED COOLER
  • YOU MUST BE REGISTERED & CHECKED IN BEFORE 1:00PM THE DAY OF THE EVENT IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR INCENTIVES/PRIZES.

 

Create or Join a Team by 11:59 PM

Register by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, January 24th, and qualify for a chance to win a Polar Fest Plunge Hat

Deadline for Special Music

Last day to contact Kevin if you are looking for special music to be played for your plunge. Contact Kevin via email at kevin@fundamentaltechnologies.com. We can’t wait to see what creative ideas you think of!

Registration & Check-In 

Registration & Check-In available at the Lake Shirts Beach Shop.

Save time by checking in this evening by 7:30pm.

*If you live out of state or checking in in person is not an option, please contact Alyssa at alyssa@bgcofdl.org.


Any plunger under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Day-of Registration & Check-In

Day-of Registration & Check-In at the Lakeshirts Beach Shop (Click For Directions)

12:30pm – All plungers report to warming tent (on the lake) *EVERY plunger must check-in, turn in all pledges, and collect incentives prior to going to the warming tent and plunging into the lake

1:00pm – plungers begin taking their plunge into Little Detroit Lake

2:30pm (or immediately after Plunge) costume Winners annouced (on the lake)

 

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Polar Fest is the best winter celebration in the North! Visit polarfestdl.com to find out about all the other fun events that are happening. The day of the Plunge is super-special because it is jam-packed with all kinds of fun polar-ific stuff to do! You’ll want to come early and stay late! 

YES! This year they can count toward your online fundraiser if you turn them in/mail them to the Club. Once the Club receives those donations, a Club staff will enter your cash/check donations into the online system so your online total reflects the accurate amount that you have raised. How GREAT is that! Then, you’ll know how your team is doing compared to other teams.

If this happens, you can turn in your pledges after the event. However, we encourage you to turn in all pledges at check-in so you get credit for them with the incentives we offer. Only pledges turned in before or at check-in are eligible for individual or team incentives.

Yes, when you register (online this year), everyone must sign a release of liability (minors must have their parent or guardian sign—no exceptions)

Yes—make any checks out to Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes.

All proceeds raised during the Polar Fest Plunge go directly to our local Boys & Girls Club in Detroit Lakes. All funds stay local and benefit the hundreds of local youth who are served both in-person and through outreach events and activities hosted by the Club.

This varies from year to year, but a good average estimate is “about a hundred or so”. We set an all-time record in 2023 with 238 Plungers and we’re hoping to set a new record in 2024!

Yes! Every Plunger will get an official Polar Fest Plunge t -shirt. Check out more on the incentives page.

As you exit the sauna to make your Plunge, a volunteer will take your dry clothes bag and towel and keep it safe for you so that you can retrieve it immediately after your Plunge.

Inside the staging tent, Plunge volunteers will help individuals and groups line up and get ready to Plunge. It is important that all Plungers be dressed, ready to Plunge on time so the event can move at a lively pace. We cannot “reserve” a spot for you, but no worries—you'll get your chance to splash!

The top four best costumes (individual or group) are awarded a cash prize. Get creative and give it a shot—
Our judges are waiting for you to WOW them!

Get out of the water! There are ladders to help you out of the water and our water rescue dive team is there to give you assistance if you need it. Head over to our Polar Fest Plunge changing trailers, towel off and change back into your clothes. Come on out and enjoy the rest of the event.

Garbage cans will be available outside of the changing trailers to place any unwanted items in.

Detroit Lakes has lots to offer, including great hotels, resorts, restaurants, shopping, and recreation! For information on lodging, dining, entertainment, and other travel necessities, visit the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce website at www.visitdetroitlakes.com.

Because this is a fundraiser that helps us provide valuable services to children in need, our hope is that you will enthusiastically raise many pledges to support your Plunge. We do not ask you to pay anything when
you register online, but each individual Plunger will be required to provide a minimum pledge of $50 at check-in. All pledges raised to support your Plunge are due when you check-in—and if you’ve raised a certain level of funds, you will qualify for LOTS of great incentives! Check out the incentives section. You must be registered and checked in before 1:00 pm on February 24, 2024 in order to qualify for incentives/prizes. Be sure to see the incentives section for more information—pay close attention as there are both individual and team incentives.

Raising pledges online is simpler than ever! And, this year, they are linked to a Club’s account so we can see what you’ve raised online as long as you sign up to collect pledges online through bgcdl.org’s polar fest plunge registration link. If you raised pledges through another online site, you must print out a list of the pledges made on your behalf online. Bring this report to check-in along with any check or cash pledges you have collected so you get credit for everything you’ve raised!

Donations made online will automatically generate a receipt for the donor’s pledge. If one of your pledgers writes a check or issues cash to you for their pledge and they want a receipt, please make sure you collect their name and address and accurately record their donation on your pledge sheet. Indicate on the pledge sheet next to their name that they would like a receipt mailed to them and Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes will send them one directly.

Our first concern at our Plunge is the safety of everyone involved—our Plungers, volunteers, and spectators. We have emergency medical personnel and law enforcement on-site throughout our event, in addition to a water rescue dive team in the ice hole at all times. All Plungers are required to sign and submit a release of liability at event check-in stating that you understand the conditions and potential risks involved in participating in our event. Please read through the release thoroughly before participating. If you are under the age of 18, your parent or legal guardian must sign the release. No exceptions will be made.

Bring as many friends as you’d like! Team up, have a competition, put together a skit! Our judges and audience love to be entertained. However, please leave Fido home. His reaction to the cold water can be an issue for our dive team—whose first responsibility is to our two-legged Plungers.

We’re sorry—there is no place to change BEFORE your Plunge. There is room in our Plunger staging tent to slip off outer clothing and make final adjustments to your costume, but there is no private changing area.  AFTER you Plunge, however—you will be directed to warm private changing trailers where there are separate facilities for men and women.

Almost! Make sure you are in the staging tent no later than 1:00 p.m. and you have your dry clothes bag, towel, etc. with you. First, you will head to our sauna to warm up before you take your bone chilling Plunge. All Plungers must warm in the sauna before Plunging so you are prepared for your icy swan dive. Dry heat will also keep your costume dry for the judge’s best review! When it’s your turn to exit the sauna, make your grand entrance down the runway, collect high-fives from the crowd, let our costume judges get a good look at you, and revel in the excitement of the cheering crowd!

Yes! We’ve had everything from the Rocky theme song to the wedding march played as creative groups have ‘strutted their stuff’ for the crowd before their Plunge. If you or your group would like a special song to be played as you make your appearance on the ice, contact Kevin at kevin@fundamentaltechnologies.com before February 19th to get your request in. He will have your music ready for you the day of the Plunge!

All prizes are awarded at the end of the Plunge as soon as our judges have had time to determine the winners. You don’t have to be present to win, but you will want to stick around to claim your prize!

The Plunge will take place as long as it is safe for the Plungers and our volunteers in the water and on the ice. Extremely cold weather, high winds, or a bone-chilling wind-chill factor are examples of conditions that would prevent the event from happening. If there is a change to the schedule, we will do our best to notify all of the pre-registered Plungers by email, post information at bgcdl.org, on our Club Facebook page, and broadcast the news through local media. We would still plan to hold the event—but we’d do it either one or two weeks later instead.

There is lots of free parking nearby—in the Pavilion parking lot and on Washington, Lake, Minnesota, and Summit Avenues. Please note that West Lake Drive will be closed from Lake Avenue to Minnesota Avenue from 6 a.m. until about 3 p.m. on February 25.

Contact the Club

218-847-5700 ext. 0 OR at theclub@bgcofdl.org

Plunge Checklist

1
Pledge sheet, all cash, checks and a printout of any online donations you received
2
Your prize-winning Plunge costume
3
Shoes to plunge in—don’t go barefoot!!
4
Towel
5
Plastic bag for wet clothes and towel
6
Change of clothes for after your Plunge
7
Friends & family to cheer you on!

Simply follow the registration link to get signed up as a team or an individual.

Members of a team must have the captain create a team before individual members join the team

If you would like someone at the Club to handle this, please call:

Alyssa at 218-847-5700, ext. 4.