On Wednesday, Feb. 26, the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara (MHA) Nation held its fifth Ice Warrior Plunge fundraiser. The event has been hosted by Chairman Mark Fox since its inception, with all proceeds going to the American Indian Cancer Foundation (AICAF) and local cancer programs. 50 jumpers took the plunge into Lake Sakakawea, with the event raising over $80,000 to fight cancer.
Chairman Fox, a fierce proponent of Native American health, has hosted the event for the past five years. South Segment Councilman Cory Spotted had the honor of being the first to plunge into the lake this year.
“We are taking the plunge into frigid Lake Sakakawea for a reason,” said Chairman Fox. “In addition to helping those who suffer from cancer, we are promoting wellness and having some fun with a positive community event.”
This year’s event raised over $80,000 for AICAF and the local Women’s Way program.
The American Indian Cancer Foundation is a national non-profit dedicated to addressing the extremely high rates of cancer among Native Americans. AICAF is focused on program and policy changes that provide tribal members with greater access to treatment and prevention strategies.
AICAF Chief Executive Officer Kris Rhodes was the third person to leap into Lake Sakakawea. Rhodes thanked Chairman Fox for his dedication in lowering cancer rates among Native Americans through early detection and treatment strategies.
“We are grateful to Chairman Fox and the MHA Nation for their efforts in fighting cancer in Indian Country,” said Rhodes.
Many tribal members leapt into Lake Sakakawea in honor of family members who suffered from cancer, with one individual raising $7,000. Chairman Fox thanked everyone who participated in the event and hosted a meal for attendees at the TERO Energy Building.
“Most of us understand that the incidences of cancer among Native Americans is higher than average. We suffer in greater numbers than most in the United States,” said Chairman Fox. “We remember in our prayers and remember in our efforts those who suffer from cancer and their families. We’re doing this for them.”
“It’s an awesome day to be raising money for cancer prevention,” Chairman Fox concluded. “It’s all for a good purpose. The American Indian Cancer Foundation and local Women’s Way do great work.”