Staff, students make splash, fundraise for Special Olympics with Polar Plunge

Form connections through group event


Brian Wolf and David Root collect trophy awarded to LT on March 11 at the Polar Plunge pre-party (Gartner/LION).

Sadie Ruppert, Reporter

In continuation of tradition, LT teachers Brian Wolf and Dave Root organized a group of students and teachers to plunge into freezing cold water to fundraise for the Special Olympics. 

On March 11, participants went to the Oak Brook Bath and Tennis Club for the Polar Plunge, hosted by the Law Enforcement Torch Run. At the start of January, sign-up opened and participants solicited donations from social media, friends, and family.

“Our fundraising goal for this year [was] $20,000, but individually I hoped to crush my goal of $3,500 and donate as much as I could,” Wolf said.

The money raised goes towards the Special Olympics to fund site rentals for sporting events, organizing and setting up the events, and giving lunches to athletes and volunteers, Wolf said.

“My favorite part of getting involved with the Polar Plunge is seeing how it impacts the athletes themselves, and how much they enjoy their sports and games,” Wolf said. “It’s also cool to see that as a community we have people to get behind us and donate to support us with our fundraising.” 

Both Wolf and Root spread the word about the fundraiser every year, and hoped to get as many people to join in and be involved as they can, Wolf said. 

“This [was] our ninth year doing the Polar Plunge, and we’ve raised around $145,000 in total during this time,” Wolf said. 

Student participants were excited about the opportunity to get involved in the LT community and have fun for a good cause, Hannah Voigt ‘23 said.

“The Polar Plunge is a great way to support our Special Olympics team,” Voigt said. “I found out about it through Best Buddies and was happy to raise money and get involved.”

The Polar Plunge has always helped to build relationships with LT staff and students, while also bringing awareness to the Special Olympics, Root said. Students from different clubs and sports teams come together to join the polar plunge. This year many participants are from Social Action Project and Best Buddies. 

“It is an awesome way for students to get to know other students [they] might not normally have the opportunity of meeting,” Root said. “It is also an awesome way to build school spirit.” 

The day of the plunge always leads to new connections, and participants often get to meet some of the athletes they are supporting with the event. There was a lot of excitement on the day of the plunge, Root said.

“I [was] looking forward to getting lined up in our corral with our team this year, it brings a nice rush of adrenaline and excitement,” Root said.