Two southern Illinois polar plunges to benefit Special Olympics

Two southern Illinois polar plunges to benefit Special Olympics

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (WBC/DANA COMM.) — This winter, the communities of Southern Illinois are invited to be bold and get cold by taking the Polar Plunge to support Special Olympics Illinois athletes. The 2022 Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge presented by GEICO at Rend Lake and in Makanda will take place at South Sandusky Beach, 11981 Rend City Rd, Benton, IL on Saturday, March 5 at noon & Touch of Nature Beach – Little Grassy Lake, 1206 Touch of Nature Rd, Makanda, IL on Saturday, March 19 at noon. Following the Polar Plunge, a luncheon will be held along with an open house of all the facilities at Touch of Nature, including the opportunity to tour the grounds. Facilities will be provided for Plungers who wish to attend. Participants can register at bit.ly/SIUTouchofNaturePlunge or at bit.ly/RendLakePlunge and can find additional information at plungeillinois.com.

This year, participants may choose from one of two options. Plunge OUR Way will look familiar to our past Plungers – this means attending one of the many in-person Polar Plunges hosted directly by Special Olympics Illinois. Plunge YOUR Way is our newest version of the Polar Plunge. Get as creative as you want with Plunge YOUR Way, whether that’s at home in a kiddie pool, at the office with buckets of water, or any way you can safely “plunge.” Remember, it isn’t WHERE you plunge, or HOW you plunge, but THAT you plunge to support these athletes.

Be sure to commemorate your plunge by taking pictures and videos, and tag Special Olympics Illinois on Facebook/Instagram: @specialolympicsillinois; Twitter: @SO_Illinois, using the official hashtag: #BeBoldGetCold.

Special Olympics Illinois encourages participants to exercise safe Plunge YOUR Way choices. Special Olympics Illinois is not responsible for any injuries that occur while participating in the Plunge YOUR Way option. 

Registered participants must raise a minimum of $100 to plunge and receive the annual Polar Plunge sweatshirt. Those who raise more than $100 may earn other incentive prizes. All proceeds collected by plungers benefit the more than 23,000 traditional athletes and 13,000 Young Athletes of Special Olympics Illinois.

GEICO is proud to be the statewide presenting polar plunge sponsor. Thank you to statewide gold sponsor Jewel-Osco; statewide bronze sponsors J. Alexander’s, Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, and Heartland Coca-Cola; and local sponsors McAlister’s Deli, SIU Credit Union, SIU Carbondale Touch of Nature Environmental Center, The Southern Illinoisian, Daily Egyptian, Withers Broadcasting Companies, Lamar and WSIL.

Touch of Nature Environmental Center was founded by Dr. William H. “Bill” Freeberg and Dr. Delyte Morris, then President of SIU. Dr. Freeberg developed “Camp Little Giant” which was the nation’s first university-affiliated summer camp for people with physical or developmental disabilities. Dr. Freeberg went on to work with Eunice Kennedy Shriver and together they hosted the world first Special Olympics Games in Chicago. Learn more here.

For more information contact Region K Plunge Director Kim Talley at ktalley@soill.org or call 618-534-3111.

About Special Olympics Illinois

Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit sports organization offering year-round training and competition in 18 sports for more than 23,100 athletes with intellectual disabilities and 13,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities. 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 our headquarters at 800-394-0562 or visit our website at www.soill.org. Follow Special Olympics Illinois on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

About Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run 

The Law Enforcement Torch Run® is the single largest year-round fundraising vehicle benefiting Special Olympics Illinois. The annual intrastate relay and its various fundraising projects have two goals: to raise money and to gain awareness for the athletes who participate in Special Olympics Illinois. The Law Enforcement Torch Run® has raised more than $61 million since 1986 while increasing awareness of Special Olympics Illinois athletes and their accomplishments. Traditionally, more than 3,000 officers in Illinois run more than 1,500 miles carrying the Flame of Hope through the streets of their hometowns and deliver it to the State Summer Games in Normal each June.

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