Thousands Take Chicago's Polar Plunge

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    NEWSLETTERS

    This year’s Polar Plunge had thousands of supporters “freezin’ for a reason.”

    This year’s Polar Plunge had thousands of supporters “freezin’ for a reason.”

    The event, a fundraiser for Special Olympics Chicago, had thousands of plungers jumping and running into 32-degree temps in anything from exotic costumes to bikinis to thermal clothing.

    Organizers hoped to raise $1,000,000through the event at North Avenue Beach. Each participant was asked to raise a minimum of $150 to support the programs provided by Special Olympics Chicago and in return jumpers received a T-shirt and warm towel.

    Various prizes were to be awarded at the event for the top 3 fundraisers, the team that raised the most funds, best team costume, largest team, and top 3 individual costumes.

    Polar Plunge Sunday

    [CHI] Polar Plunge Sunday
    Special Olympics board member Jason Erkes discusses the annual Polar Plunge Chicago on the Daily 5. Click here to register, donate and for more information.

    Chrissy Milanese plunged with her sorority.

    The Florida-native said the only thing she wanted to do after the plunge was warm-up.

    “I can’t feel my face,” she said. “I’ve never swam in anything colder 75 degrees.”

    Candace Watkins of the Chicago Park District said she raised $1,200 over the course of three weeks.

    “I just figured I would do something for a good cause,” she said.

    Special education administrator Tia Speat said the plunge related to her personally and to her field.

    “This is my passion,” she said. “You only live once.”