With COVID-19 precautions in place, it’s possible that some have forgotten what it’s like to go outside in the chilly winter weather. But not the “ComEd Coolers,” who are celebrating their 10th year participating in Special Olympics Chicago’s (SOC) annual Polar Plunge to benefit approximately 7,500 athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
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ComEd employee participates in Special Olympic Chicago's Polar Plunge. (Photo: Business Wire)
For this year’s Chicago Polar Plunge, rather than jumping into Lake Michigan’s frigid waters, hundreds of ComEd employees, family members and friends are finding creative ways to participate virtually. Members of the ComEd Coolers team are sharing videos and pictures of their plunging experience – whether it’s from their backyard or bathtub – which will be shown during ComEd’s Facebook Live Watch Party at 10 a.m. on Sunday, March 7.
Leading the ComEd Coolers, who are consistently one of the event's largest fundraisers, are ComEd CEO Joe Dominguez and Exelon Utilities Strategic Planning Vice President Joe Svachula.
“On behalf of the 6,100 employees at ComEd, we’re proud to celebrate 10 years of supporting thousands of Special Olympians who are able to participate in year-round competitions because of the funding they receive from Chicago’s Polar Plunge,” Dominguez said. “At ComEd, serving our communities means more than providing safe and reliable power. It means giving back and supporting the communities we are privileged to serve.”
“I started plunging with the ComEd Coolers 10 years ago in honor of my son who has Down syndrome,” Svachula said. “If you go back in time, people with disabilities didn’t have a lot of opportunities. Today, we celebrate everyone’s abilities – not disabilities – and what we all can do. Special Olympics is an organization leading this change.”
Since 2011, ComEd has turned the SOC’s Polar Plunge into one of the energy company’s biggest community events. Hundreds of employees, friends and family have raised a total of more than $1.7 million over that time. This year, the ComEd Coolers are on pace to raise approximately $200,000 to support athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
ComEd’s support of the communities it serves is not just limited to the Chicago Polar Plunge. In 2020:
- ComEd employees volunteered more than 11,000 hours and, through the company’s annual fundraising campaign, raised approximately $1.7 million to support communities and causes close to their hearts.
- ComEd, along with its parent company Exelon and the Exelon Foundation, provided approximately $18.6 million to support communities and organizations across northern Illinois in 2020. This includes more than $2.2 million in COVID relief.
Since Chicago’s Polar Plunge began in 2000, thousands of people have participated and have raised more than $15 million. SOC uses the funds to support year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-style sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.