Katie Kelleher's Fundraising Page

Team Eileen In

Freezin' for a Reason!

On March 1st, I’m jumping into Lake Michigan to support the 7,500 athletes of Special Olympics Chicago!

I’m excited to join Team Eileen In for a frosty dip in the chilly waters of North Avenue Beach Sunday morning at the 20th Annual Polar Plunge. The forecast calls for a high of just 34 degrees. It’s cold enough, but I’m bold enough! #FreezinForAReason

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 four-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 and 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.

Please help me #MakeASplash!

I have set a personal fundraising goal of $2,000 for the Polar Plunge, and I would truly appreciate your help to reach it. 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. For example, $25 will buy an athlete’s lunch and uniform. $50 can buy equipment like snowshoes or a softball bat. $250 will pay for a team’s bus transportation, and $500 will buy a flight to a competition. And just to make things more fun, I promise to go all the way under water – from head to toe – if I reach my goal of $2,000. #PolarPromise.

Thank you for considering a donation. 




Check out past Chicago Polar Plunge!





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Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor!

My Supporters

  • Anonymous March 2020
  • Bank of America March 2020 $100.00
  • Justin Whyte March 2020
  • Anonymous March 2020
  • Celine Skertich You go girl! Such a great cause. February 2020 $25.00
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  • Kevin Kelleher Good luck Katie! February 2020 $210.00
  • Chris Bojar February 2020 $105.00
  • Susan and James Kelleher Mom and Dad support and love you Katie K., and also Ms. Eileen, and the SOC! Well done! February 2020 $105.00
  • Bank of America March 2020 $100.00
  • Anthea L Bojar You go Katie This is a great effort and wonderful cause February 2020 $100.00
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