Another record high doesn't cool Palatine's Polar Plunge
With record temperatures Saturday and at least record-tying temps on Sunday, it was a good weekend to take a dip.
That's what more than 350 participants in Sunday's Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge in Palatine did.
On Sunday, temperatures reached 66 degrees at O'Hare Airport, breaking a record of 64 set in 1930.
The day before, temps reached 70, shattering a record of 62 degrees set in 1981, according to the National Weather Service.
What did that mean for Polar Plungers in Palatine?
"There is no ice," said Sylvia Dziubinski of Arlington Heights. "So it is not really a polar plunge."
But Dziubinski, a member of the event management committee and a teacher at Lincoln Middle School in Mount Prospect, added as participants began arriving, "with it being nicer, we may get more plungers. Because a lot of times, we didn't have all the plungers show up, because it was too cold."
For those used to freezing in line before diving into an icy column of water (although they were freezing for a reason), it was an opportunity to bask in the sun.
But when it came time to plunge, they found it was the same sort of cold water they remembered.
"We're just happy to have a beautiful 60-65 degree day for this event," Special Olympics Area 18 Director Jordan Feldman said.
But he noted that despite the temperature outside the water, the water itself registered about 35 degrees.
Rolling Meadows Police Sgt. Tony Peluso, emerging from the water, confirmed it was frigid, although he said it was "better than last year."
"it doesn't feel bad now, but it's cold when you're in there though, for sure," said Arlington Heights Police Officer Brandi Romag as she headed back to the changing tent.
Law enforcement officials were a strong presence, which should come as no surprise, since they traditionally are major supporters of the event.
This year, officers displayed some costume creativity as well as a self-deprecating sense of humor.
The Carpentersville and Schaumburg police department teams dressed as doughnuts, making fun of a stereotypical culinary choice. Those teams wore inner tubes around their hips.
The Schaumburg police team called themselves the Donut Dunkers, while the Carpentersville team went so far as to attach a Styrofoam Dunkin' Donuts cup to their heads to complete the ensemble.
Feldman said the event has been held at Twin Lakes in Palatine for eight years. He said Sunday's event was expected to raise more than $100,000.
The proceeds go to Special Olympics programs, paying for such items as facilities, medals and trophies and volunteer shirts.
Several high school students participated, including a team from Palatine High School that entered its second consecutive plunge.
Mary Clare Hake, a sophomore at the high school, said, "It's for a good cause, and it's something you can do with your friends."
According to the National Weather Service, high are expected to remain in the 60s through Wednesday, when temperatures are expected to reach 70.