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Blowing snow, grey skies and rolling foot-high brown waves at the lakefront in late February entice only a select few to try the waters of Lake Michigan. On Feb. 26 about three dozen warm-hearted and surely cold-toed people took the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics at Northwestern University’s beach.
Heidi Bernhardt, who has taken the Polar Plunge since 2002, was joined by about five of her colleagues in the Evanston Police Department and by firefighters and police officers from nearby suburbs, including retired Evanston Police Chief Frank Kaminski, now chief of police in Park Ridge.
After spending a few frigid moments in Lake Michigan, the plungers found shelter in a nearby warming tent. Some of them, who jumped into the water every hour, were called heroes because of this commitment. A young women clad in shorts and a T-shirt running barefoot over the sandy snow was heard to proclaim, “I’m a god.”