” I’m gonna die right her”. That was Maureen Berende’s fear moments after she emerged from Lake Minnetonka on New Year’s Day. With temps a -14 and the windchill at 27 degree below zero, ice divers in Excelsior faced the second coldest fundraising event since its beginning in 1990.
Eight years ago, in 2010, 980 brave souls jumped and dived into Lake Minnetonka, but brutally cold weather pared the turnout to 352 in 2018 and some of them stepped to the platform, only to turn away, fearful of the 32 degree water. Those who braved the ice dive were lent a helping hand by volunteers, including Excelsior firefighters.