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Anne and Ed Burke participated in the first Chicago Polar Plunge 18 years ago. 0

Anne Burke is the star at this year’s Chicago Polar Plunge

March 1st, 2018

Celebrities will be on hand, but the real star of Sunday’s Chicago Polar Plunge is State Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke. She’ll be jumping into the frigid waters of Lake Michigan Sunday for a fundraiser benefiting Special Olympics Chicago. And her husband, the noted Ald. Ed Burke, will be close behind.

Justice Burke’s participation is a sentimental one. She’s a founder of the Special Olympics, which was founded 50 years ago this year. Burke started the organization along with the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the aunt of Illinois gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy (no word if he’s jumping).

This isn’t the first plunge for the Burkes. The photo above shows them heading into the water at the 2000 plunge–it was the first Polar Plunge to benefit the Chicago nonprofit.

This year, Jstice Burke will be leading the first group of plungers, which includes ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore.

Ald. Burke is jumping in with the “Alderbears” team organized by 19th Ward Alderman Matt O’Shea, who sits on the Special Olympics Chicago board. I hear O’Shea was wandering the offices of City Hall this week recruiting plungers. He got a few.

Other aldermen jumping along with him and Burke include Michelle Harris, Brian Hopkins, Raymond Lopez, Deb Mell, Milly Santiago, Michael Scott Jr., Danny Solis, Patrick Thompson and Gilbert Villegas.

Over the years this charity event has drawn its share of celebrity plungers–hello, Lady Gaga and Vince Vaughn (we miss you!).

Celebrities making a splash this year include actor David Eigenberg of “Chicago Fire;”  Jack O’Callahan, a member of the 1980 USA “Miracle” hockey team  (he’ll be jumping with Special Olympics president Kevin Magnuson); Chef Cleetus Friedman of Theater on the Lake; former Chicago Bear Otis Wilson; and Stephanie Dolson, who plays for the Chicago Sky.


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