Polar Plunge back at North Avenue Beach, 24 more locations this year

The Polar Plunge returns to the beach – along with 24 other locations across the state this year.

After last year’s charity event went virtual due to the pandemic, Special Olympics Illinois announced Wednesday that it will hold two dozen dives over the course of a month to raise money for athletes and programs. of Special Olympics.

The events, which begin Feb. 28 and end in late March, are scattered across the state and include a dip in Lake Michigan at Gillson Beach in Wilmette on March 20; a dive at Twin Lake Recreation Area on March 6; and a rally at Oak Brook Bath & Tennis Club in the western suburbs on March 19.

Details of these and other dives can be found by visiting: www.plungeillinois.com.

The news comes after Special Olympics Chicago announced in October that its annual Polar Plunge — one of the largest in the country — will return to North Avenue Beach on March 6.

But attending one of these dives isn’t the only way to get involved this year.

As in 2021, people are also encouraged to get creative and participate virtually.

“Remember, it’s not WHERE you dive or HOW you dive, it’s WHO you dive to support these athletes,” Special Olympics Illinois said in a news release.

In 2021, participants organized all kinds of innovative dives. Some people jumped into kiddie pools and lakes, while others threw ice buckets over their heads.

A student jumps into a paddling pool filled with snow and water for St. Patrick’s High School’s version of the Polar Plunge on March 6, 2021.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

A group built a homemade dunk tank which they set up in an alley; and some St. Patrick’s High School students and teachers held a fun outdoor event at the school’s football field and raised approximately $10,700.

Special Olympics Illinois encourages participants to post their dives on social media and use the official hashtag: #BeBoldGetCold.

Registered participants must raise a minimum of $100 to dive and receive the annual Polar Plunge jersey. Those who collect more than the minimum can win other prizes including a fanny pack, sweatpants, and/or a zip-up jacket.

All proceeds will benefit the more than 23,000 traditional athletes and 13,000 young athletes of Special Olympics Illinois and help cover program costs, including transportation to and from competitions, sports equipment, team uniforms and more. again.

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