Deep Freeze Dunk in Maple Grove to Raise Funds for Haiti

The Jan. 12 event is sponsored by Rotary Club of Maple Grove, the Rotary Partnership for Haiti and Minnetonka-based Haiti Outreach.

Dozens of people will take a cool dip into Fish Lake in Maple Grove Saturday as part of the fourth annual Deep Freeze Dunk for Haiti.

The event, starting at 12:30 p.m. Jan. 12 at Fish Lake Park, is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Maple Grove, the Rotary Partnership for Haiti and Haiti Outreach, a non-profit organization headquartered in Minnetonka. 

Funds raised will help build new schools in Haiti. The dunk takes place on the anniversary of the 2010 catastrophic earthquake that killed thousands and left many without homes.

The three previous Deep Freeze Dunks for Haiti raised approximately $50,000.  The event in 2010, which was already scheduled before the earthquake, took place within days following the disaster.  The plunge that year raised $15,000, all of which went directly to general relief in Haiti because immediate needs for food, shelter and clothing, according to organizers.

Those interested in registering and raising funds for the event or pledging can visit www.rotarypartnershipforhaiti.org/2013-deep-freeze-dunk or call 612-929-1122. Check here for photos from the 2011 Deep Freeze Dunk.

How Funds Are Used 

The following was provided via press release from the Rotary:

Fund raised, along with more than $500,000 from Rotary clubs in the Twin Cities metro area, greater Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania has been used to build two public secondary schools in Haiti. The first school opened in Oct. 2010 in the village of La Victorie and serves approximately 400 students, according to a Rotary press release.

A second public school, which also has a capacity for 400 secondary students in the rural community of Rankit, will be formally dedicated on Jan. 19.  Last fall Olaf Minge, a member of the Minneapolis City of Lakes Rotary Club, led an effort to receive a $50,000 grant from Rotary International that was used to build a latrine, drill a clean water well, and provide desks and blackboards for that facility.

The mayor of Rankit and other officials from that city and the Ministry of Education are expected to participate in the dedication. Dale Snyder, a Director and co-founder of Haiti Outreach and a member of the Minneapolis Uptown Rotary Club, is also expected to participate in the dedication.  Other representatives of Rotary’s involvement in the project include Robert Stowell, Governor of Rotary District 5950, which includes Minneapolis, its suburbs and much of central and south central Minnesota.  Joining him will be Minge and Christine Taylor, President of the City of Lakes club, and Todd Bollig from the Eden Prairie Noon Rotary Club.

Haiti Outreach and Rotary Involvement

Haiti Outreach was founded in 1997 and has raised more than $10 million to build and maintain community initiated projects to help advance the development of the people of Haiti. In addition to the five employees in its Minnetonka office, the organization has a field office in Pignon, Haiti, and a staff of more than 55 Haitian employees who collaborate with community groups and local governments to build sustainable projects. 

Since 2000, Rotary clubs in District 5950, including the City of Lakes Club, have also been active in drilling many fresh-water wells in Haiti. More than $2 million has been contributed by Rotary clubs worldwide to a special fund that addresses issues of education, sustainable housing and the need for prosthetic limbs in Haiti. In addition, Rotary clubs started a $200,000 initiative to implement cholera prevention programs in response to an outbreak of the disease after the earthquake.


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