Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013
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Polar Plungers across Illinois will be freezin' for a reason Feb. 22-March 17

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[January 16, 2013]  NORMAL -- It's not every day that people are willing to "go jump in a lake" -- particularly in the winter -- let alone do so with thousands of other people, including members of the law enforcement community. But that's exactly what will happen on various weekends in February and March as part of the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Illinois presented by GEICO.

Any adventurous soul is invited to join law enforcement officers, as well as media and business and civic leaders from their community, by donning bathing suits, costumes or any clothing of choice (just no wetsuits!) to jump in a lake. Each plunger must collect a minimum of $75 in donations that will be used to support Special Olympics programs in Illinois.

The event has grown from one location in 1999 to 20 locations across the state this year. The Polar Plunge series will kick off with a Super Plunge -- where participants raise a minimum of $2,500 and plunge into Lake Michigan once every hour for 24 hours -- on Feb. 22-23 at Northwestern University's North Beach in Evanston.

The Logan County plunge will take place on Sunday, March 17, at 2 p.m. at Lincoln Lakes. Please note this is a change in both day of the week and time. Anyone wishing to know more about the local plunge can click on the "Polar Plunge" button on the Top Stories page of LDN or contact Joanie Keyes of Special Olympics Illinois at 217-428-9255.

Individuals and teams can register for the plunge on the Special Olympics Illinois website at or by contacting Keyes at the number above.

Plungers are encouraged to form teams to spread the fun. Each team member must raise the minimum of $75 in donations, and all team members' individual fundraising totals will be merged to form a combined team total. Teams are placed into divisions based on size and are awarded prizes for the most money raised.

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All plungers will receive gifts, compete for prizes, and enjoy food and camaraderie with other chilly participants. The more money a plunger raises, the more chances he or she will have to win a four-night trip for two adults to Cancun, Mexico, with accommodations at Riu Peninsula, courtesy of Apple Vacations. For every $500 a plunger raises, he or she will get an entry into the drawing for this grand prize.

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

[Text from file received from Special Olympics Illinois]

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