Both Lauren Capek, 12, and Rose Capek, 14, are passionate about helping others with disabilities.
When Rose was in third grade, a boy came to her school, St. Paul of the Cross in Park Ridge, with Asperger’s syndrome. She tried to help him the best she could to fit in at school.
“He’s getting all the extra help he needs,” she said. “He’s a really smart kid, but he just has a little trouble comprehending it all.”
Both Rose and Lauren like that these friends with a disability can participate in programs like the Special Olympics.
Because of their desire to help their friends, Lauren and Rose participated in the Polar Plunge on March 2 with the River Grove Police Department. The 14th Annual Polar Plunge was held on North Avenue Beach with 3,000 people in attendance.
All proceeds of the Polar Plunge benefit the Special Olympics.
This is the second year that the River Grove Police Department has participated. Even in freezing cold temperatures, the 11 plungers, both police officers and their children, took the jump into the lake. The River Grove Police Department collected more than 98 donations, with $6,000 and counting in contributions.
“We had seen the event and saw how much fun it was,” River Grove Police Lt. Keith Aller said.“We couldn’t help but want to be a part of it.”
The River Grove Police Department and their guest plungers took a large bus to North Avenue beach. The group jumped into the water and after quickly dunking their heads, towels were provided for them. There was a warming station for when plungers got out of the freezing water. But the cold water never fazed the plungers.
“Through all the cold, we’re raising money for a great, great cause,” Aller said.
Lauren Capek loved participating in the Polar Plunge, despite cold weather. Before jumping into the water, she said her feet felt numb and like ice cubes.
“I went all the way under water,” she said. “Then I grabbed my towel and started running to the [heating area].”
Lauren and Rose want to participate in the Polar Plunge next year, along with the River Grove Police Department. Next year the River Grove Police Department plans on more police officers and their friends to take the plunge, too.
“We like doing this for a great cause,” Police Sgt. Joe Giovenco said.“It’s all about raising money for the Special Olympics.”