An ahhhh-some Freeze Fest
Team after team, jumper after jumper, reactions of people emerging from Little Pine Lake on Saturday were the same.
At the second annual Freezn' for a Reason jump at Zorbaz in Perham last Saturday, 96 jumpers lined up to take the plunge into frigid lake water. Many donned elaborate costumes, and others put great thought into jumping styles.
Each team raised money to donate to Kinship of the Perham Area. More than $20,000 was raised.
As is customary lake-jumping protocol, teams spent a few minutes in a hot tub set up near the hole in the lake to warm up.
Then, after the jump, participants hurried to get out of the water as quickly as possible seeking warmth or dry clothes.
Hundreds of spectators turned out to watch the event, taking advantage of the warm and sunny weather.
Near the end of the event, Perham Chamber Executive Dan Schroeder, who was judging the jumpers, announced that Miss Heart of the Lakes Kalli Randall, who had been watching the event in a full prom dress and tiara, would jump if the crowd could raise $1,000 to go to Kinship.
Randall added that she would not jump unless Gene Jahnke, who had been emceeing the event, also jumped with her.
Austin Bachmann, Zorbaz bartender and local award-winning auctioneer, came out to help raise money. With the help of a $50 pledge from the divers in the water, Randall and Jahnke took the plunge.
Despite not having any warm-up time in a hot tub prior to jumping, Jahnke and Randall were still all smiles as they emerged from Little Pine.
"This was great," Jahnke said. "Where else would we want to be today? What a day."
"I'd jump again in a heartbeat," Randall said later, after having some time to warm up. "But maybe next time without the dress."