Dozens to take icy plunge into East Side Lake

Published 6:32 pm Tuesday, January 24, 2023

A thick layer of ice covers Austin’s East Side Lake now but a small pool will be cut open near its boat ramp this week for dozens of people to take a plunge.

On Saturday, the 11th annual Plunging for Pink will raise money for breast cancer research at The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota in Austin as part of the Paint the Town Pink Initiative (PTTP).

Plunging starts at 2 p.m. at the East Side Lake boat ramp just off Oakland Place Northeast, with registration running from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Upon arrival, plungers are asked to check in at the event’s registration trailer, where they can turn in cash or check donations for their team and receive an event T-shirt.

“It’s an amazing time at the lake with a ton of positivity and laughs all for a great cause,” said Jacob Gross, one of the lead organizers with Plunging for Pink. “Everyone should try the plunge at least once.”

A pre-plunge party will run from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Eagles Club in Austin, offering a brunch meal and silent auction. Cost is free for registered plungers but they must be pre-registered to get the free breakfast. For non-plungers, the cost is $10 per adult; $5 for children ages 6-12; and free for children ages 5 and younger.

To register or learn more, go online to the Plunging for Pink page on Facebook or website at:  www.plungeforpink.com

Started in 2013, Plunging for Pink is one of PTTP’s biggest events, raising more than $600,000 overall for The Hormel Institute’s breast cancer research. With the support of The Hormel Foundation, every dollar donated to The Hormel Institute goes directly to cancer research.

A year ago, Plunging for Pink hosted more than 130 people braving East Side Lake’s frigid waters. Each plunger is encouraged to raise at least $50 in donations for their team.

Plunging for Pink is the second of three PTTP events this year at East Side Lake. On Jan. 21, the annual Fishing for a Cure hosted its fishing contest at the lake followed by a meal and silent auction at the Eagles Club to raise money for the Institute’s cancer research.

On Feb. 25, the inaugural Freezin’ for a Reason ice golf competition will be hosted on East Side Lake, with partially drilled holes in the ice, pink tennis balls and hockey sticks. Teams need to raise at least $100 per team for the event. The ice golfing will take place before the annual Smashing Cancer Demo Derby that day at 2 p.m. at the Mower County Fairgrounds.

For all details on the 2023 Paint the Town Pink initiative, visit The Hormel Institute’s website:  pttp.hi.umn.edu