Totally Chilling Out!

Polar Plungers to test waters of Lake Mendota Feb. 24


MENDOTA – Special Olympics Illinois is proud to announce the return of the coolest event of the year, the Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Illinois. The Polar Plunge will return for 24 in-person events throughout February and March across Illinois.

Plungers will return to Mendota and the chilly the waters of Lake Mendota for the Region A Polar Plunge on Saturday, Feb. 24. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. and participants will start plunging in the lake at noon.

For 25 years, the Polar Plunge has become the signature winter fundraising event, engaging the community on the importance of inclusion, and raising critical funds to support the life-changing programming of Special Olympics Illinois. In 2023, the Polar Plunge raised more than $2,000,000, providing tens of thousands of Special Olympics Illinois athletes access to year-round sports competitions and training, health and wellness initiatives, as well as leadership and personal development opportunities.

“The Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Illinois has grown into an iconic celebration highlighting the values of our community and promoting the importance of inclusion,” said Pete Beale-DelVecchio, President & CEO, Special Olympics Illinois. “This exhilarating event brings together warm-hearted plungers, dedicated local partners, generous sponsors, and selfless volunteers, all united in the mission to uplift and champion the exceptional athletes of Special Olympics Illinois. I encourage everyone to embrace this spirit and to ‘Be Cool. Take the Plunge!’”

There are many ways participants can Be Cool and Take the Plunge:

  • Plunge at one of 24 in-person plunges hosted by Special Olympics Illinois. 
  • Participants can Create Your Own Plunge in their local community or turn it into a Super Plunge by committing to plunge 24 times in 24 hours.
  • Local schools can join the Cool School Challenge and plunge with peers and faculty on their school campus. 

The 2024 Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge is presented by Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Illinois in collaboration with statewide sponsors Jewel-Osco, Gallagher, Lamar, and Puffin Drinkwear.

For more information on how to register or become involved in the 2024 Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge visit

About Special Olympics Illinois

Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit sports organization offering year-round training and competition in 18 sports to a community of more than 55,000 traditional athletes, Young Athletes, Unified partners, coaches, volunteers, and more. It strives to be a global leader in shaping a culture where people with and without intellectual disabilities are fully integrated into the community by providing year-round opportunities in competitive sports, health education, leadership and personal development.

If you are interested in being a part of Special Olympics Illinois and its vision, contact your local region, call 800-394-0562 or visit our website at Follow Special Olympics Illinois on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok and X.