Polar-plunge
Mar 10, 2014 • By

A plunge for charity

The frigid waters of Minneapolis’ Lake Calhoun served as an initiation of sorts for Josh Radman and Jon Lugo, two new General Mills employees from Washington and Texas.

They led a General Mills team in taking a cold dip into the lake recently to raise money for the Special Olympics.

Josh and Jon  – both business management associates with our Supervalu team – were part of a 10-member General Mills team that jumped into the Lake Calhoun on March 1 in sub-zero temperatures.

Polar-plunge

Pictured, left to right in the back row, are Kevin Butler, James Evans, Mike Schiena, Robert Burke and Chris Hill. In the front row, left to right, are Josh Radman, Lauren Peterson, Alanna Caballero, Sam Nelson and Jonathan Lugo.

It was all part of the Minneapolis Polar Bear Plunge as more than 5,000 people raised $1.3 million for Special Olympics Minnesota.

In total, the Supervalu team raised $5,800 for the cause – and introduced new hires to a Nordic ritual.

“I couldn’t feel my fingers afterwards,” says Josh, who moved from Los Angeles (where he went to college) to Minnesota last summer. “There was so much adrenaline going. It was all a blur, and I vaguely remember jumping in. I had to watch the video to make sure I actually did it.”

Says Jon: “My body and mind went numb, shocked at how cold the water was. The only thought that ran through my head was, ‘Get out!’ It was an absolutely terrible 30 seconds, but only 30 seconds.”

Polar-plunge

They told us they were “encouraged” to participate in the Minneapolis Polar Bear Plunge as a way to get immersed into Minnesota culture. More Supervalu team members followed suit.

“We didn’t have an option as we were ‘volun-told’ to participate,” Josh says.

All clad in General Mills-themed attire, the team jumped into the water, and just as quickly jumped out, shivering as they rushed to nearby tents. The temperature that day was -1 degree F (-17 degrees F with the windchill).

Josh says the event not only allowed the group to raise money for charity, it also provided an opportunity for the Supervalu team to bond as some members were new to General Mills. Both he and Jon joined the company in August.

“This marked the first time for most of us in the Polar Bear Plunge, and probably the last,” says Josh. “But who knows? Maybe we started a tradition. Jon and I truly became Minnesotans that day.”