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Polar Plunge 2014

We all know Chicago is the home to the greatest sports fans, hotdogs, and deep dish pizza. But, many people do not realize it is also the birthplace of the Special Olympics movement, changing the lives of individuals with disabilities for over 45 years. Today, the Chicago area chapter of Special Olympics is one of the largest in the world and serves over 5,000 athletes.

On Sunday, March 2, Special Olympics Chicago will host its largest fundraiser of the year -the Chicago Polar Plunge at North Avenue Beach. I know that after surviving the Polar Vortex, the thought of going into Lake Michigan may sound like a real challenge. But, it’s more than worthwhile as the money raised helps to support the year-round programming enjoyed by our Special Olympics athletes.

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I have been taking part in the Chicago Polar Plunge for more than a decade. Through the years, I have recruited more and more friends to be a part of my team, and countless others to become donors. (Last year, I raised $50,000 – a record for me and for Special Olympics Chicago). It is an incredible day all around, whether you choose to dip a toe in, take the full plunge or cheer on the many in support of the charity!

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If you have been to a Special Olympics competition or interacted with a Special Olympics athlete, you know their enthusiasm and personality are contagious. I invite you to be a part of our Special Olympics team and make a donation or participate in this year’s Chicago Polar Plunge. You will be changing the lives athletes in ways you can’t even realize. The best kind of Sunday Funday!

To register to participate or to make a donation to an individual or a team, please visit

– Jen Kramer, President, Special Olympics Chicago

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