Katie's Polar Plunge Fundraising Page

Team Eileen In

Why I Plunge

On Sunday, March 6, 2022, I will be jumping into Lake Michigan to support the 7,500 athletes of Special Olympics Chicago! It’s cold enough, but I’m bold enough! #FreezinForAReason

I’m excited to join Team Eileen In for the third year in a row. My close friends Colleen and Scott Schaefers created Team Eileen In to honor their daughter, Eileen Schaefers, who has Down syndrome. Eileen is a beautiful, spunky six-year-old girl whose lovely spirit brings a smile to everyone who meets her. Colleen and Scott love the mission of Special Olympics and hope that Eileen will participate one day.

When asked how they created the team name, Colleen said “The name came about after the newly popular phrase – lean in.  To lean in (to something) means to incline or press into something. You have to lean into the wind when you walk or you will be blown over. When you are faced with difficulties or challenges, you have to rise up and embrace them…lean in.  We thought this was a perfect name for our team and beautifully represents our dear girl.”

The Eileen In logo was created by Scott’s sister and niece. They made cookies for a family party honoring Eileen surviving her first year filled with three surgeries, countless doctor’s appointments, and lots of therapy sessions. The cookies were heart-shaped, with a smiley face and glasses. It is so simple, yet says so much: her three surgeries were the repairing of her heart at nine months old and two eye surgeries removing her cataracts at six and seven weeks old.

Special Olympics gives people with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to discover new strengths, abilities, and success. The money we raise goes directly to Special Olympics Chicago and its athletes.  

I have set a personal fundraising goal of $1,000 for the Polar Plunge, and I would truly appreciate your help to reach it. No amount is too small. For example, $25 will buy an athlete’s lunch and uniform. $50 can buy snowshoes or a softball bat. $250 will pay for a team’s bus transportation, and $500 will buy a flight to a competition.

Last year, Team Eileen In raised over $50,000 for Special Olympics Chicago - incredible! Please help me #MakeASplash again this year. 

Thank you for your generosity. 

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My Supporters

  • Marty Bergerson Congrats on the plunge and sorry for the belated donation. Great cause! March 2022 $52.50
  • Chris Bojar March 2022
  • Erika Burkemper March 2022 $50.00
  • Matthew Johnson March 2022
  • Shannon Blaha February 2022
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  • James & Susan Kelleher We are happy and honored to join you and "Team Eileen In" for such a worthy cause. We are proud of you and hope for "good weather" for you and all participants on March 6. Love, Mom and Dad February 2022 $157.50
  • Katie Kelleher February 2022 $150.00
  • John Azarias Thank you for bringing attention to a great cause Katie! Go Team Eileen! February 2022 $105.00
  • Steve Smith February 2022 $105.00
  • Anthea /bojar Katie, It is so nice you are participating in such a worthwhile cause...Tia February 2022 $100.00
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My Team