Penguin Plunger Bryce Wolske, sponsored by Hackensack Lumber,  raises his arms after a successful first jump in 2019.

With the recent cold weather our thoughts turn to having fun on the ice and snow.

In Hackensack that means Back to Hack weekend and the 11th annual Penguin Plunge Jan. 18.

Now supporting the Hackensack Area Fire and Rescue Department and Faith in Action for Cass County, a challenge is made to all fire and rescue teams and to friends of Faith in Action throughout Minnesota to get teams together. Teams are encouraged to set a goal to raise money either to jump, or not to jump into the icy waters of Birch Lake just off the city park in Hackensack.

Online registration and donations is open at the Faith in Action website www.faithinactioncass.com. All Penguin Plunge participants will receive a goody bag and discounts on food and drinks at the Wrap-Up Party at Birchwood Char House, and the satisfaction of knowing that you support programs that are vital to many of us living in the greater Hackensack area.

Once again we’ll see the Penguin and the Polar Bear on stage announcing the jumpers, the cold water (yes — it’s cold), many helpful volunteers, and lots of activities including snow sculpting, bonfires, ice fishing, and great warm food at local restaurants.

The Hackensack Area Fire and Rescue Department serves the residents of Hackensack and eight surrounding townships. With 100 years of fire-fighting and over 40 years of First Response history, they complete extensive training and continuing education to keep abreast of the newest technology, equipment and procedures to help save lives and property. Having a team of well-trained, dedicated volunteer firefighters and emergency responders who also are equipped with the latest fire and rescue gear costs money, and you can help them out by registering or supporting a Team for the Penguin Plunge.

Faith in Action for Cass County connects community volunteers with people in need to provide transportation to medical appointments, shopping and errands, homemaking and chores, meal delivery, caregiver respite, basic home repair and home modification including building ramps. Volunteers help people of all ages and there are no fees. Providing volunteers with coordination and support, including liability insurance, training, communications, and mileage reimbursement, as well as maintaining a wheelchair accessible van, also costs money, and your Team at the Penguin Plunge can make a huge difference in someone’s life who is struggling to remain in their home and community.

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