Winter after winter, daring folks across the Chicago area plunge into ice-cold waters in support of Special Olympics Illinois. But with the pandemic, the non-profit is encouraging people to use their creativity and sign up for the brand-new Plunge at Home option.
The new alternative, which runs from Feb. 20 to March 27, allows participants to take the plunge wherever they'd like - whether in the snow, a bathtub or by pouring icy water on themselves, according to the Special Olympics Illinois website.
Plunge at Home participants are reminded to document their plunge and advised to use the hashtag #BeBoldGetCold.
For those hoping to take part in the more traditional option, the organization remains hopeful that in-person plunges will take place across Illinois.
Dozens of events, which have been designed in accordance with Illinois and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 guidelines, are planned throughout the state from Saturday, Feb. 20 to Saturday, March 27.
Registration began on Dec. 8 and remains underway.
Participants are asked to raise a minimum of $100 donations from friends, family or coworkers. While those under the age of 18 are able to participate, a parent or guardian is required to sign a waiver form.
Since the inception of the Polar Plunge in 1999, more than $24 million dollars have been raised to benefit approximately 23,000 Special Olympics and young athletes across Illinois.