Chicago Polar Plunge Credit: Facebook

RAVENSWOOD — My Buddy’s Chicago is hosting two bags tournaments this month to help raise money for the Special Olympics’ Polar Plunge, which is going virtual this year

The first of the two tournaments is happening Sunday and people who want to participate can register here. The second tournament is set for March 14 and people can register here

Registration costs $25 for individuals and $40 for teams of up to two players. Proceeds will benefit the Special Olympics Chicago and Special Children’s Charities program.

Chicago Polar Plunge is the Special Olympic’s largest fundraiser for the year, and helps to fund more than 60 percent of its programing for its 7,500 athletes, according to Special Olympics spokesperson Maura Bruton.

Brian BonDurant, owner of My Buddy’s at 4416 N. Clark St., said they’ve been involved with Polar Plunge for about 15 years and have helped raise about $250,000 for the program with hundreds of people jumping into the lake in support.

“Just because we don’t have the regular event going on, with thousands of people jumping into the lake, doesn’t mean we can’t still raise money for these kids in a socially distanced way,” said BonDurant. “About 80 percent of the registration for the tournaments are going towards Special Olympics.”

The My Buddy’s Chicago polar plunge team from a previous year. Credit: Provided

The two bags tournaments at My Buddy’s will use double elimination rules and include the chance for teams to win cash and prizes.

“We’ll be outside wind, rain or snow — whatever the case may be with this Chicago weather. And if you lose then the people who win get to break a water ballon over your head,” BonDurant said.

Last year’s event plunge helped raise more than $2.2 million and featured 4,800 plungers jumping into the lake. 

“This is the perfect year for those who have not participated in the plunge in the past, and who may have found the idea of jumping into Lake Michigan during the cold March weather a little daunting. The Virtual Chicago Polar Plunge allows everyone to participate in whichever manner they choose,” said Carolyn Daley, Special Olympics Chicago’s president. 

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