The 12th annual Penguin Plunge will take place Saturday, Jan. 16, on Birch Lake in Hackensack as part of Back to Hack events.

Supporting the Hackensack Area Fire & Rescue Department and Faith in Action for Cass County, a challenge is made to all fire and rescue teams and to friends of Faith in Action throughout Minnesota to get teams together. Teams are encouraged to set a goal to raise money either to jump, or not to jump, into the icy waters of Birch Lake just off the city park in Hackensack.

Online registration and donations are open at the Faith in Action website at All Penguin Plunge participants will receive a goody bag and discounts on food and drinks at the Wrap-Up Party at Birchwood Char House.

The Penguin and the Polar Bear will be on stage announcing the jumpers. There will be many volunteers and lots of activities, including snow sculpting, bonfires, ice fishing and food at local restaurants.

The Hackensack Area Fire & Rescue Department serves the residents of Hackensack and eight surrounding townships. With 100 years of firefighting and more than 40 years of first response history, they complete extensive training and continuing education to keep abreast of the newest technology, equipment and procedures to help save lives and property.

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Having a team of well-trained, dedicated volunteer firefighters and emergency responders who also are equipped with the latest fire and rescue gear costs money; help them out by registering or supporting a team for the Penguin Plunge.

Faith in Action for Cass County connects community volunteers with people in need to provide transportation to medical appointments, shopping and errands, homemaking and chores, meal delivery, caregiver respite, basic home repair and home modification including building ramps. Volunteers help people of all ages and there are no fees.

Providing volunteers with coordination and support, including liability insurance, training, communications and mileage reimbursement, as well as maintaining a wheelchair accessible van, also costs money.