For the 14th consecutive year, Marion Police Department will put together a team for the Polar Plunge, a charity event that has officers and other officials diving into frigid Rend Lake to raise funds for Special Olympics.
Headed by Detective Sgt. T.J. Warren, the Copsicles team will take the plunge into possibly icy waters on March 7. He came before the Marion City Council on Monday night, seeking sponsorship in the event, and active participation by council members.
"If it's like 50 degrees, diving into 30- to 40-degree water, it's not too bad, but if it's 35, you're going to be feeling it," Warren told the council.
He said the Copsicles has raised between $60,000 and $70,000 in its 14 years of existence, enabling Marion-area athletes with disabilities to attend the statewide Special Olympics in Champaign-Urbana.
In past years, the Marion City Council has donated $500 to the cause, and former mayor Anthony Rinella participated in the actual plunge.
The council took no action on the donation on Monday night, with Mayor Mike Absher questioning whether the donation had been budgeted.
"I'm sure you can count on it," Absher told Warren.
Commissioner John Stoecklin suggested that the Marion City Council lay down a challenge to officials in neighboring municipalities.
However, Absher stopped short of saying he would participate.
"I'll be on vacation that week," Absher said. "I will be there in spirit."