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Winter Activities Warm the Heart

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Winter Activities Warm the Heart

February 2013 was a heart-warming month on the UMD campus. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members jumped in the snow and in Lake Superior to support two community events that benefited some very worthy causes.

Make Your Mark: Angels for a Cause – February 9, 2013
The Make Your Mark event started with an idea brainstormed by a Proctor high school Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) student, and grew to include an attempt to break the record for most snow angels made at once while also raising money for an incredible cause. The event was spearheaded by the Duluth Rotary Club and the Proctor High School DECA team. While the world record wasn’t broken, nearly 2,000 people made snow angels at Malosky Stadium on UMD’s campus. About $31,000 was raised in total and one hundred percent of the proceeds will go toward providing clean water to the Hamar people in Ethipoia.

“We are excited to partner with numerous Rotary clubs…to host this extreme event for such an amazing, global cause,” said Crystal Taylor, spokesperson for the Rotary Club of Duluth. “Our clubs hope to see people from all over the state attend this one-of-a-kind event.”

Every day, millions of women and children must walk hours to the nearest swamp or pond to fetch water that isn’t necessarily clean. Living next to the world’s largest source of fresh water, Lake Superior, we can’t imagine the struggles these people face every day. On February 9, 2013, the Northland came together to turn the world’s attention toward this important cause by making snow angels. Make Your Mark not only impacted the community of Duluth, but it impacted the world.

Radio station hosts were on site, as well as UMD’s mascot Champ, the UMD cheerleaders, local weather personalities Kevin Jacobsen and Dan Hanger, and UMD alumnus Duluth Mayor Don Ness, whose family helped with the countdown to the snow making extravaganza. Hot chocolate and coffee were served to help keep hands and bodies warm leading up to the event as well as indoor educational booths to keep families with younger children entertained.

Rumors are swirling already as to whether the event will take place again next year, but nothing is set in stone.

The current world record is held by North Dakota set in 2007 with the total of 8,962 snow angels made simultaneously.

Check out pictures from the day of the event by visiting our Flickr photo album.

Polar Bear Plunge – February 16, 2013
This year’s Polar Bear Plunge in Duluth drew a crowd of over 1,000 from across Minnesota and Wisconsin to witness and participate in the event. By the time the last person jumped at 4:30 pm on Saturday, February 16, $170,000 had been raised for Special Olympics Minnesota.

The Polar Bear Plunge — presented by Minnesota law enforcement as part of the year-round Law Enforcement Torch Run® events to benefit Special Olympics — is a unique opportunity for individuals, organizations and businesses to support Special Olympics athletes by jumping into frigid Minnesota waters. It consists of 16 different events that take place across Minnesota during the coldest months of the year. From January through March, the Polar Plunge crew travels around the state to 16 different communities with one goal in mind: raise funds for Special Olympics Minnesota!

How was the UMD Alumni Association involved? We formed our own team to help and we invited our alumni and friends to join us either through taking the plunge with Ashlee, our Communications Associate, or donating to the cause. Ashlee also put her costume selection to a vote through a Facebook poll, and UMD Superhero Super Dog was the winner as voted by UMD alumni and friends. Check out our photo album of the event on Flickr to see Ashlee take the plunge with fellow UMD Superhero Super ‘Dog, Stacey.

UMD was well represented with groups from the Student Association, College of Pharmacy, Kappa Si, the Synchronized Swimming Team, Hockey Cheerleaders, the Financial Markets Program, UMD Gearheads, Athletic Training program, the IESE program and the Admissions Office.

How Can You Become Involved?
We believe it’s important to give back and to be a good community partner. Look at the UMD Alumni Association calendar of events for future community events, such as CHAMP Day of Service on Saturday, April 13, 2013. You can also check out the UMD Office of Civic Engagement current events calendar. The Office of Civic Engagement offers a listing of organizations UMD works with and a brief profile is available for each organization.