Empowering Communities

Taking the plunge for her son

February 20, 2020
Brown and her son at the Polar Plunge in 2018.

Once a year, in the winter, Nicole Brown jumps into the freezing cold water of Lake Michigan.

If you were to ask her why, she would say she does it for her son who has autism.

“One of the main reasons I do the Polar Plunge is for him,” Brown said.  “I remember what I’m doing it for and the people I’m helping.”

Brown is just one of the hundreds of ComEd employees who are signed up to participate in the annual Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Chicago on March 1.

Hosted at Chicago’s North Avenue Beach, thousands of people come together to raise money to support 7,500 athletes with disabilities by plunging into the lake.

This will be the fourth year Brown takes the plunge. For the first time, her 11-year-old son will join her.

“He is very excited,” she said. “The Special Olympics is an amazing cause.”

What makes this plunge more special is that Brown and her son won the contest to name the event’s polar bear mascot. They submitted the name “Shiver.”

“My son was afraid he wasn’t going to stop shivering if he did the plunge,” Brown said. “That’s where the idea came from.”

Brown with her son and polar bear mascot Shiver.

Brown urges those who can to donate or participate.

“Just remember why you’re doing it, and try not to think about how cold it is,” she said.

For more information or to get involved with the Special Olympics Chicago Polar Plunge, go to www.sochicago.org/chicago-polar-plunge/