MAPLE PARK—As the Illinois Special Olympics fundraising year comes to a close, the Maple Park Police Department is taking inventory and feeling proud.
The Police Department has been fundraising all year, hosting events and raising money for the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Illinois. So far, the Police Department has raised nearly $78,000, just shy of its $100,000 goal.
“Last year, we raised $63,000; we’ve already beaten that number this year, and it isn’t even over yet. We’re really fired up,” said Law Enforcement Torch Run volunteer coordinator Jim MacRunnels.
The Maple Park Police Department in late October hosted a free event in Maple Park as a thank-you to Torch Run donors, sponsors and the village of Maple Park for all of their help with the Special Olympics. The event was called “Maple Park Hogwild for Special Olympics,” and it featured four bands and free food, including a whole hog donated from Johnson-Pate Pork out of DeKalb. The event was free, but there was an auction of goods that were donated to the Police Department.
“For a free event, we still raised $4,700,” MacRunnels said.
The Maple Park Police Department will wind down their efforts for now, but only briefly, because the new fundraising year will soon begin. The Police Department’s goal will be even bigger for next year, and it will kick off fundraising in 2015 with the annual “Polar Plunge” event on March 8.
The Polar Plunge will take place from 1 to 2 p.m. at Loon Lake, located in Silver Springs State Park in Yorkville. The event is an opportunity for people to support the Special Olympics by taking a “plunge” into the freezing waters of Loon Lake. Participants are required to raise $75 in donations in order to participate. Prizes will be awarded for differing levels of money raised.
“Our goal this year is to have 40 people participate in the Polar Plunge,” MacRunnels said. “We always want to do better than we did last year, so we are really trying to get people out. We know the cause is right, and we are pretty encouraged.”
For more information on how to sign up for the Polar Plunge, visit the Maple Park Police Department’s fundraising page on Facebook.