Highland News Leader

Plungers raise more than $100K for Special Olympics

Brrr-ave plungers raised $103,849 for Special Olympics Illinois at Polar Plunge into Carlyle Lake on Saturday, Feb. 28, and the Highland Police Department & Friends team won a prize for best costume for its roller coaster theme.

The HPD team consisted of Chris Clewis, Charles Allen, Shawn Bland, Brad Sutton, Aric Steinbeck, Tarah Rottmann, Dawn Steinbeck, Tina Schickendanz, Val Driscoll, Courtney Hochuli and Sarah Jaime. Others who helped raise money for the team were Darren Twyford, Chris Flake and Kayla Mersinger.

The funds raised from the Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge benefit Special Olympics Illinois Southwestern/Area 12, serving Special Olympics athletes with intellectual disabilities in 10 counties.

Other Plunge teams and individuals were recognized for their accomplishments were:

• Cool School Largest School Team (K-12 teams): Dupo High School, which had 38 Plungers.

• Cool School Most Money Raised (K-12 Teams): Dupo High School, which raised $3,374.

• Top Individual Fundraiser: John Becker of Bartelso, who raised nearly $6,000.

• Top Team Fundraiser: Centralia Police Department, which raised nearly $12,000.

The public can still make donations to Polar Plungers by visiting www.plungeillinois.com and clicking on the “Support a Plunger” button.

The Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run is the single largest year-round fund-raising vehicle benefiting Special Olympics Illinois. This intrastate relay and its various fundraising projects have two goals: to raise money and increase public awareness for the athletes of Special Olympics.

Each year, 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 in June. Special Olympics Illinois is a year-round program of sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Special Olympics programs are now in more than 170 countries with 4.4 million athletes.