HEBRON | The cold, frigid waters of Lake Michigan were no match for approximately 250 free-spirited ComEd employees as they jumped into the lake to support Special Olympics Chicago during their 13th annual Polar Plunge fundraiser.
Held at Chicago’s North Avenue Beach, the Polar Plunge is one of the more unconventional fundraisers where participants plunge into chilly Lake Michigan to raise money that benefits nearly 5,000 Special Olympics Chicago athletes. The plungers also dressed up in creative and elaborate costumes.
ComEd employees raised more than $55,000 for this year’s event, including ComEd’s sponsorship of $10,000. Also, employees of ComEd’s parent company, Exelon, will have their donations matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $5,000, by Exelon. All the proceeds generated from the event go directly to Special Olympics Chicago.
Special Olympics Chicago estimated there were 2,500 plungers at the event and the goal for this year’s Polar Plunge was $1 million. Participants who jumped into Lake Michigan were required to raise a minimum of $150 to plunge. The event raised approximately $700,000 so far, with more donations expected in the coming weeks.
The money gathered from the Polar Plunge is used by Special Olympics Chicago to support year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Hebron resident Frank Gonzalez, Chicago regional overhead manager for ComEd, raised $2,610 for the Polar Plunge.