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Parkland College Police are freezin’ for a reason

Staff Writer

Published: Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 11:02


Photo courtesy of Bonita Burgess

On Saturday Feb. 25, 2012, the Parkland Police Plungers, participated in the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge. By running into the ice-cold water at the Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve in Mahomet, the team raised over $2,500 for the Special Olympics of Illinois. L to R Nicole Meyer, Officer Matt Kopmann, Officer Angie Corray, Dispatcher Sarah Siedelmann, Officer Jared Ping, Parkland faculty member Richard Rudasill and two family members of the team also participated.

On Saturday, several Parkland police officers and staff members participated in the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge, which took place in Mahomet at the Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve. The Plunge was held to raise money to benefit the Special Olympics of Illinois.

Parkland's team, the Parkland Police Plungers, raised over $2,500 for the cause. Officer Matt Kopmann, team captain, hosted the team this year and started the first team web page for collecting contributions for the event. "It's a fun activity for a really good cause. I guess you could say we really were freezin' for a reason!" Kopmann said.

The event featured 400 plungers who helped to raise a total of over $60,000 for the cause. Several area businesses helped to sponsor the event. Many local residents, including friends and family members of the participants, came to watch the plungers jump into the cold water.

After the plunge, each participant received a Polar Plunge hooded sweatshirt and was served lunch in the Lake of the Woods Pavilion. They were also entered into a raffle for a chance to win the grand prize of a vacation to Riu Negril, Jamaica, courtesy of Apple Vacations.

According to the Special Olympics of Illinois website, their mission is to provide "year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities by giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community." The organization supports nearly 21,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and more than 6,000 young athletes with ages ranging from two to seven.

The Parkland Police Plungers have done this for years now and plan to participate again next year, but pointed out that there are several other plunges coming up if anyone is interested in trying it out. Those who would like to help out this worthy cause without jumping in ice cold water can do so by attending the upcoming 2012 Special Olympics Illinois Basketball tournament. The event takes place March 16 – 18, at the Horton Fieldhouse at Illinois State University in Normal, and Shirk Center at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. Proceeds from this event will go to support the cause. More information about these events can be found at


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