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Go jump in the lake

Polar Plungers still needed for March 3 Special Olympics fundraiser

Published: Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 5:00 a.m. CST
(Keenan Wright Photo from the Morris Daily Herald files)
Plungers from Coal City, Morris and elsewhere in Grundy County are usually among the brave souls challenging the freezing waters of Loon Lake for the annual Special Olympics fundraiser each winter.

PERU, Ill. – Be a fan of brrr-avery! Support Special Olympics athletes by jumping into the waters of Loon Lake at Silver Springs State Park, Yorkville, at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 3.

The funds raised from the Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge will benefit Special Olympics Illinois. which serves athletes with intellectual disabilities.

All Polar Plungers are required to collect a minimum of $75 in donations. Check-in begins at 11 a.m. at Kendall County Fairgrounds. Plungers and spectators will be bused to the Silver Springs State Park and back.

Lunch will follow the plunge at Kendall County Fairgrounds in Yorkville. Lunch is free for Plungers and $10 for other individuals or $25 for groups of four. See directions to the Plunge location on the Special Olympics Illinois website: www.soill.org.

People are encouraged to come in costume and to form teams. Each team member must also raise the minimum of $75 in donations; all team members’ individual fundraising totals will be merged to form a combined team total.

Statewide, teams are placed into divisions based on size and are awarded prizes for the most money raised.

Each Plunger receives an official Polar Plunge sweatshirt. There are also incentive items for raising more money, with grand prizes, including a 4-night trip for two adults to Cancun, Mexico, with accommodations at Riu Peninsula, courtesy of Apple Vacations. For every $500 a Plunger raises, he/she will get an entry into the drawing for this grand prize.

Plungers can register for the Plunge at www.plungeillinois.com and also create their own fundraising page, or they can register by contacting Cheryl DePaepe at (815) 220-8128.

Last-minute Plungers are welcome to register the morning of the Plunge.

The Statewide Presenting Polar Plunge Sponsor is GEICO, while Yorkville Plunge sponsors include Record Newspaper, WSPY AM/FM, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Panera, Silver Springs State Park, CPAA of Yorkville, Oswego Police Department, CPAA of Oswego, Kendall County Sheriff’s Office, Kendall County Sheriff’s Auxiliary, Little Rock Fox Fire Protection District and Kendall County Fairgrounds.

The Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run is the single largest year-round fund-raising vehicle benefiting Special Olympics Illinois. This intrastate relay and its various fundraising projects have two goals:  to raise money and increase public awareness for the athletes of Special Olympics.

Each year, more than 3,000 officers in Illinois run more than 1,500 miles carrying the Flame of Hope through the streets of their hometowns and deliver it to the State Summer Games in Normal in June.

Special Olympics Illinois is a year-round program of sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics programs are now in more than 170 countries with 4 million athletes.

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