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Polar plunging for the Children's Miracle Network

Participants prepare to jump into the lake near Lure's Bar and Grill for the Polar Bear Plunge. (WSAW Photo 1/1/20)
Participants prepare to jump into the lake near Lure's Bar and Grill for the Polar Bear Plunge. (WSAW Photo 1/1/20)(WSAW)
Published: Jan. 1, 2020 at 9:51 PM CST
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In Nekoosa, the 23rd Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Lure’s Bar and Grill saw hundreds of participants come out to support Marshfield Clinic’s chapter of the Children’s Miracle Network.

Last year's event raised over $19,000 raised for the program, and this year’s promised to be another big year with over $12,000 being raised just through jumper fees; not including raffles and matching grants.

“100% of that goes right to Children’s Miracle Network here in central Wisconsin,” said Mary Beth Knoeck, volunteer fundraising coordinator for Marshfield Medical Center. “We service 19 counties within central and northcentral Wisconsin. Every single dollar that’s raised goes right back to helping the kids.”

It’s that mission that encourages people to participate, those like Michael Redmond, who travels from Chicago every year to support the event.

“We’re all fortunate enough to be here, but to see a young person fighting,” said Redmond. “We’re nothing compared to the heart that young man has right there.”

The young man he’s referring to is Michael Bluell III, a young boy from Wisconsin Rapids who was diagnosed with Stage 4S neuroblastoma when he was just 2-months old. Now 7, young Michael proudly calls himself a cancer survivor.

“I did not jump because it’s too cold,” said Bluell. “Thank you for support.”

He didn’t have to worry. The hundreds of other participants had it taken care of, to help support him and the many other children fighting a tough battle.

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