Beach party fundraiser back again

Some of the Silver Lake Splash Committee members gathered at the beach to plan the final details for the big day July 16. From left to right are Tiffany Bathurst, Ingrid Koller and Becka Lassen. Aundrea Kinney/Review

Aside from swimming in the lake, a popular way to cool off at the Silver Lake Splash event is running through the water sprayed from one of North St. Paul’s fire trucks. file photo

At the 2016 Silver Lake Splash, the Bounce House and carnival games were popular attractions. file photo

Silver Lake Splash planned for July 16


It’s that time of year again — time for North St. Paul’s annual Silver Lake Splash fundraising event. After eight years, this fundraiser has become anything but stale, and this year’s event promises a blend of new activities and familiar favorites. All of the money raised at the July 16 beach party goes to the beach fund for summer lifeguards at Silver Lake Beach.

Silver Lake Splash began in 2010 when the funds for summer lifeguards faced the chopping block in the city budget. A group of residents united and convinced their city council to continue funding lifeguards, and offered to contribute money earned in a fundraiser. Thus, on short notice, Silver Lake Splash was born.

“It primarily was about the safety, but it was also about not [being able to use] this cool, guarded swimming beach that had always been there,” says Ingrid Koller, who has been an organizer since the beginning.

Koller says she was surprised that first year when about 1,000 people attended the event. This year, she and other Silver Lake Splash committee members estimate about 1,300 people will attend.

According to City Manager Jason Ziemer, North St. Paul has a two-year contract with the YMCA, which staffs the lifeguards.

Lifeguards work at the beach noon to 7 p.m. daily between June 9 and Aug. 13, according to Shane Hoefer, executive director of the White Bear Lake YMCA and the Maplewood Community Center.

Koller notes that last year alone, Silver Lake lifeguards saved three swimmers during the swimming season, but they do more than save lives. She and other committee members explain that lifeguards are important because they help ensure the beach itself is safe and well-maintained. For example, parents can feel secure knowing there won’t be people fishing in the swimming area or sharp objects laying in the sand.


New in 2017

Committee member Becka Lassen says the event she is most excited for at this year’s iteration of the party is the new fishing pond. 

Midwest Extreme Outdoors will provide a mobile fishing pond stocked with trout, and will be teaching people how to fish. At the end of the day some people may even be able to bring their catch home.

“It’ll be nice to teach my kids how to fish,” says Lassen, who grew up fishing, but says she fell out of practice over the years.

Craft vendors will also be new this year, Lassen says, adding that most of the items for sale will be health, summer or child related.

Another place to shop will be the mini raffle, which will take the place of the silent auction held in previous years. Lassen adds that many of the popular silent auction items will be back, but this time the shopping process has been streamlined.

Some of the most popular items in previous years have been “Experience North St. Paul,” which includes gift certificates for a number of local businesses, and “Mayor for a Day,” which allows a child to shadow Mayor Mike Kuehn for a day.

Tickets for Silver Lake Splash activities cost $1 each, and activities take one or two tickets to participate. This year, for the first time, tickets may be purchased with credit or debit cards, in addition to cash.


Something for everyone in the family

Committee member Tiffany Bathurst says her favorite part of Silver Lake Splash is always the visit from the fire department. 

Every year, the North St. Paul firefighters bring one of their trucks and spray water for the children to run through; however, Silver Lake Splash organizers add that people don’t have to get wet at the fundraiser if they don’t want to. 

Live performances will be hosted throughout the day in addition to dunk tanks, chair massages and food trucks. There will also be a bounce house, face painting and carnival games. 

A cash raffle, which is separate from the mini raffle, will also be held. The first prize winner will take home $300, and the second prize winner will take home $200. Winners need not be present to claim their prizes.

Live performances include the Any Day Now band, which will be on stage from 1 to 2 p.m. and 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. At 2 p.m. the fiddlers enrolled in Early Bird Strings will begin their performance, and at 2:30 p.m. the Dragon’s Kung Fu martial arts demonstration will begin. 

Yoga will be offered from 3 to 3:30 p.m., and a hula hoop demonstration will run from 3:30 to 4 p.m.

According to Bathurst, there will also be a few crafts for children to try. Older children can design beautiful shell necklaces, while younger children can make fun popsicle stick fans. 

In addition to bringing cash or a bank card, people who plan to attend the party should pack sunscreen and swimwear. Lassen says that if people plan for a day at the beach, they are planning for the perfect day at Silver Lake Splash.


Behind the scenes

Planning for this year’s event began in February and was completed primarily by four committee members. The committee also received help from local businesses who donated cash or raffle items. 

Committee members say a lot of the success for the event comes from the help of volunteers.

Koller adds that it’s not too late to volunteer this year, and if interested, people should message the group’s Facebook page, SilverLakeSplashNSP, or leave their contact information with city hall and a committee member will respond.

Koller says the best part of Silver Lake Splash is “watching neighbors come together to make it all happen ... and watching people from the neighborhood become connected to one another.”

The 2017 Silver Lake Splash will be held from 1 to 5 p.m., July 16, at Silver Lake Park. Parking will be in the residential neighborhood surrounding the park. All are welcome to attend.


- Aundrea Kinney can be reached at 651-748-7822 or


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