Russ “Moses” Huizinga is a veteran of the Polar Plunge who has never missed a year since its inception. He won an award for the most donations raised, and it’s easy to see why.
He tells his wife Sharon every year “to put the life insurance policy back in the bank,” as he makes it another year.
“I currently live in Minocqua, formally from Franklin Park, Illinois,” Moses said. “I retired from the Teamsters Union 731. I do bobcat work and enjoy restoring old cars.”
Russ restored a 1936 Ford pickup that he named “White Lightening.” He said, “You can see me driving it in the summer and at car shows.”
Moses first heard about Angel On My Shoulder from his friend Doreen at Leisure City. He says that when he learned about the Polar Plunge he just had time to make a donation and get the entry free in to join the plungers.
“When I did my first jump and learned about the organization, I was impressed with all that they do for the children, families and all affected by this terrible disease.”
Moses also loves the children he sees in his volunteering, and he plays Santa Claus whenever he can.
When asked about some of the things he most enjoys from the Polar Plunge and volunteering with Angel On My Shoulder, Moses said, ““The act of getting the pledges, the comradery of everyone who participates.”
“Mike Wolf named me Moses. As he said, ‘Moses divides the sea,’ as all you see is hair, beard and one big splash as I belly flop.”
Moses is inspired by Mike Wolf, along with Amy and Dick Lemke, who he says all love Angel On My Shoulder. “I also love what they do,” he said.
When asked what some of his best memories are from his years with the Polar Plunge, Moses said, “My best memory is when Dick Lemke got on bended knee in front of everyone to ask Amy Linnett to marry him, and of course she said yes!”
He also said he most appreciates his family and friends who support him in this and the friendships he has forged. “God willing I will continue to do this,” he said.
For anyone considering volunteering, Moses said, “I would tell them to ‘just do it,’ The organization is wonderful and rewarding and brings some happiness to the children who suffer from this horrible disease. It is all volunteer.”