MACOMB, IL – – Multiple Western Illinois University faculty, staff and students took part in the 2020 Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge Saturday, Feb. 29. The event was held at WIU's Western Hall.
All Polar Plungers are required to raise a minimum of $100 in donations. They are encouraged to dress in costume and can participate in the event's costume contest.
Participants are given a Polar Plunge sweatshirt and additional incentive prizes are given to participants who raise $250, $500 and $1,000.
At this year's event, 60 participants took the plunge. Through donations, $10,857 was raised, with various WIU groups and organizations participating. Some WIU groups that participated included Alpha Sigma Alpha, the School of Law Enforcement and Administration, Western Emergency Medical Services (WEMS) and WIU Police and Friends.
Through the WIU Polar Plunge, 805 athletes are directly supported in the western Illinois region.
The Macomb Police Department was the top fundraising team, raising a total of $1,640. Brian Briggs, an employee of WIU, was the third place fundraiser, with a total of $505 raised and was a costume contest reward recipient.
In addition to sponsoring the Polar Plunge, Alpha Sigma Alpha, a sorority at WIU, spent the day volunteering at the event. Members set-up the event, worked the registration table, served lunch and tore down the event.
Members of Sigma Chi, a fraternity at WIU, assisted with set-up and tear down of the swimming pool for the plunge.
In the 21 years of since the event's inception, more than $22 million has been raised by more than 78,000 plunges. During the 2020 Polar Plunge season, all the proceeds collected by plungers will benefit 23,000 traditional athletes and 17,000 young athletes of Special Olympics Illinois. With the money raised by Polar Plunge events, year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
For more information on Polar Plunge, visit soill.org/polar-plunge.