Shamrocks Participate in Chicago Polar Plunge


Jonas Dargis ‘22, Sports/Entertainment

Just three years ago, James Caprio’20 and the Lasallian Youth organization at Saint Patrick High School started the tradition of participating in the Chicago Polar Plunge. Despite a global pandemic and its challenges, this year will be no different. 

Nation wide, the Polar Plunge has grown in increasing popularity over the past few decades, as well as becoming one of Chicago’s most recognized traditions. Plunges are held all over the country to help raise money for sponsored charities and organizations. In Chicago, the benefactor is Chicago Special Olympic (CSO), helping to fund its athletes and training programs. Participants raise money for the plunge, with 100 percent of the proceeds going towards CSO athletes. Traditionally, participants would plunge into the frigid waters of Lake Michigan. Due to COVID-19, this year’s participants have had to adapt.

CSO athletes need support more than ever. The pandemic has made it difficult to receive funding and train in the competitive manner the athletes are accustomed to. The Polar Plunge has always been one of the largest fundraisers to CSO athletes, and with this added need it is vital that we still participate in the plunge. It would be impossible to host a traditional gathering at Lake Michigan due to CDC guidelines, so Mason Kim ’22 and I, in charge of the plunge this year, had to come up with a creative and safe way to host a plunge. 

“Setting up this year’s plunge for the first time combined with the pandemic has been quite challenging,” Mason said, “but Jonas and I are really excited for what we’ve got planned for this year.”

We are taking full advantage of the creativity left to us by CSO. Our plans include having a multi-step obstacle course to maximize the “cold factor,” as well as getting faculty to join in on the fun. “Helping fellow athletes reach their goals is just an amazing way to live out our Lasallian mission.” The faculty includes Coach Mary Gibson and future Saint Patrick High School President, Dan Santucci ’02.

So far we have been able to raise just over $7,000, the most by any Chicagoland high school. In our most successful year to date, we hope to hit an end goal of $7,500. We are just under a week away from plunge day, so it would be greatly appreciated if you clicked here and donated to one of the many students participating in the plunge!