Ludington’s cold water challenge: The Lake Jump

April 28, 2014

2012 Lake Jump

Raising funds for Mason County Veterans Endowment Fund.

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief. 

LUDINGTON — The latest viral trend going around social media is the cold water challenge, where moments before a person jumps into a body of cold water they shout out the names of three people they’d like to challenge to do the same.

Ludington has had its own cold water challenge, known as the Lake Jump. It was started in 2000 by WMOM radio as a way to relieve the winter blues. The next year, station owner Patrick Lopeman decided to kick it up a notch and turn the event into a fund raiser for local charities. Eventually, the Ludington Lake Jump became its own entity and has since raised $357,063.

Instead of spontaneously challenging someone, participants need to take pledges (though some people jump in without pledges).

The event was originally scheduled for March 29, but Stearns Park beach was nearly inaccessible at that time and there was a considerable ice build up along the lake shore. It was then moved to April 12, however conditions didn’t change much. The event is now scheduled for this Saturday at 11 a.m. with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m.

This year’s benefactor is the Mason County Veterans Endowment Fund, which supports the unmet, emergency needs of veterans and their families who reside in Mason County.

The fund was established in 2009 by Ludington business owner Budde Reed and Dr. Rick Plummer of West Shore Community College, both Vietnam combat veterans. Since its inception, the fund has assisted many veterans.

“We’ve helped build ramps for wheel-chair bound vets, paid emergency medical and utility bills, sent families who couldn’t afford it to see their father off on his deployment, and assisted with educational benefits, among helping vets in other ways,” said Plummer. “The fund helps our county vets and their families on its own and in partnership with county, municipal, and private organizations and agencies.”

Plummer said the group is offering its own cold water challenge. “We want people to challenge each other to raise money for our veterans,” he said. “Our veterans have given so much for us, it’s time for us to stand up and do something for them.”

For more information on the Lake Jump, visit www.lakejump.org. 

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