More than 50 members of Marist’s football and rugby programs, along with football coaches, participated in the appropriately named Polar Plunge on Sunday, March 3, taking a frigid dip in Lake Michigan at North Avenue Beach in support of Special Olympics Chicago.
Alderman Matt O’Shea of Chicago's 19th Ward put out a challenge to local high schools to participate in an effort for athletes to support athletes and Marist once again rose to the challenge.
"Doing the Polar Plunge is important to the football program for several different reasons. The most important reason is that it provides an opportunity for the players and coaches to contribute in a positive way to the community," Coach Ron Dawczak '93 explained. "I feel it is my duty as head football coach to not only teach the players about the game of football, but to teach them to be the best young men they can be."
Many of the plungers solicited donations from family and friends and a dress down was held at Marist on Friday, March 1 which raised just over of $4,000 for Special Olympics Chicago which supports more than 7,000 local athletes. Additionally, through t-shirt sales for the Polar Plunge, Marist made donations totaling $1,250 to Oak Lawn Park District Special Recreation, Elim Christian Services, and GiGi's Playhouse--organizations valued by Marist employees and families.
The event, with a great picture of Marist students, was featured in the Sun-Times.
Photo: Marist boys wait their turn to run into frigid Lake Michigan.