Letter: The Big Freeze was a big success

Published 9:49 am Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The eighth annual Big Freeze was Saturday at Edgewater Bay Pavilion, and wow — what a fantastic day of sunshine! The goal for this event is to fill the food shelves for the Salvation Army and Ecumenical Food Pantry at First Presbyterian Church.

The Medallion Hunt, sponsored by Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce and worth $300 in Chamber Bucks, was found by 7-year-old Casey Ulve.

Albert Lea Boys Hockey Blue Line Club hosted the chili cook-off with nine delicious entrees, along with grilled brats and hotdogs. Congratulations to Wendy Taylor, first place; Barb Pulley, second place, and Kathy Oothoudt and Cindy Martens, third place. The 112 on Broadway served beverages.

Email newsletter signup

The Figure Skating Club braved the brisk winds to skate on the lake, and Dan Lestrud of Broadway Bike Co. brought fat tire bikes for enthusiasts to demo. 

Many thanks to Andy Richardson’s Disc Golf Ice Bowl; participant’s donated 267 pounds and cash for the food shelves, and Steve and Amy Patten organized the geocaching. Gather hosted open snowshoeing, and Gene Wangen’s Belgian horse-drawn sleigh rides were busy all afternoon. Shinefest Polar Tractor Ride made a stop on its annual route through Albert Lea. Park and Rec fun had many fun winter activities for the kids.

Congratulations to Sibley School! You raised $675.72 for the food shelves — Principal Diane Schultz and staff took the plunge. Cargill had the largest nonperishable food collection. The popular Blue Ice Plunge event was organized by Albert Lea Fire Department Scott Hanna and his crew and volunteer firemen, and outdoor music was provided by Power 96.

We would like to thank the following for your commitment to this wonderful winter event: City of Albert Lea Park and Rec Department’s Bob Furland and Jenny Davis, city of Albert Lea Fire Department Capt. Scott Hanna, city of Albert Lea Street Superintendent Scott Overland, city of Albert Lea Parks Superintendent Joe Grossman, Albert Lea Seed House, Mayo Clinic Health Systems, Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce, Community Education and Albert Lea Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Thank you Albert Lea Tribune, Freeborn County Shopper, KATE/KCPI and Power 96 for plugging our event.

To our community, we sincerely thank you for your support. Your generosity continues to touch many lives.

Susie Petersen

The Big Freeze Committee