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Can You Handle Ice-Cold Lake Michigan? Polar Plunge This Month Will Support Local Families

The plunge aims to raise $35,000 for three families in need.

Chicagoans have a good reason to jump into Lake Michigan.
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CHICAGO — It’s that time of year again to brave the ice-cold dip into Lake Michigan for a good cause.

The 22nd Chicago Polar Plunge starts noon Jan. 28 at Oak Street Beach, 1000 N. Lake Shore Drive, according to a news release. Anyone can take the plunge and should arrive by 11 a.m.

The event draws hundreds of daredevils each yeah and raises thousands of dollars for local families in need.

Organizers at the Chicago Polar Bear Club hope to raise $35,000 to support three families. Direct donations can be made online and registration to plunge is online.

Supporters can also directly donate to an individual plunger’s fundraising effort.

Funds will support the Garcia, Cantave and Meeks families.

Eva Garcia is a single mother of five who lost her husband, Arturo, to a car crash in 2018, according to a Polar Plunge news release. The family was evicted from their apartment in October and forced to separate across homes of relatives. Two of the children have health issues, and the family has debt from Arturo Garcia’s fatal crash, according to Polar Plunge.

Funds will help Eva Garcia pay medical bills and reunite her family under one roof.

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The Garcia family.

DJ Cantave is described by his loved ones as sweet, polite and personable, according to Polar Plunge. The 15-year-old has a rare brain tumor and suffered a stroke during surgery, leaving him with weakness that makes everyday tasks a challenge.

Funds will help the Cantave family cover the costs of DJ Cantave’s rehab, medical care and transportation needs.

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DJ Cantave (left) and Latrell have toughed out extended stays at local hospitals.

The polar plunge will also support 9-year-old Latrell and his mother, Helen Meeks. Latrell was diagnosed with leukemia around the same time his mother lost her job, according to Polar Plunge.

Funds will help Helen Meeks pay off medical debt, focus on Latrell’s treatment and recovery and find stable child care so she can balance working again along with her duties as a single mom.

More details about the families are here.

The Chicago Polar Plunge, presented by the Chicago Polar Bear Club, has raised $525,000 since 2003, according to the news release.

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