On Wednesday, March 13, the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara (MHA) Nation celebrated its 4thAnnual Ice Water Warrior Plunge. The benefit, hosted by MHA Nation Chairman Mark N. Fox, is expected to raise more than $80,000 for the American Indian Cancer Foundation (AICAF).
40 participants jumped into icy Lake Sakakawea, with Chairman Fox and Twin Buttes Segment Councilman Cory Spotted Bear making the first plunge. The event was held at 4 Bears Marina, where the water’s temperature was a frigid 33 degrees.
“The major thing is to raise money for the American Indian Cancer Foundation,” said Chairman Fox, who has hosted the event since its inception.
The benefit raised $70,000 initially, with the final total expected to be more than $80,000 once final pledges and collections are completed.
The American Indian Cancer Foundation is focused on program and policy changes that provide tribal members with greater access to treatment and prevention strategies.
AICAF’s Chief Executive Officer Kris Rhodes joined in the fun and leapt into Lake Sakakawea. Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians Chairman Jamie Azure also participated in the plunge.
Other participants took the leap in honor of loved ones who have battled cancer.
Several tribal programs, including Elbowoods Memorial Health Center staff, took part in the Ice Water Warrior Plunge. Brent Bosko, Bill Swaney, Fawn Packineau, Tyra DeMarce, Sunny Hall, John Pemberton, and Ben DuBois made the leap together as “Team Elbowoods.”
The Chairman’s Office will continue to accept donations for the American Indian Cancer Foundation until April 12.