Athletes plunge into icy Lake Zurich; aim to support local cancer survivors


Photo by Photo used with permission of @LZGTF1

Girls Track and Field members plunge into Lake Zurich. The team was just one of many LZHS organizations that supported the annual event which raised money for Purple Plunge, a nonprofit.

It may have been below freezing this Saturday, but that didn’t stop nearly 400 locals from running into icy Lake Zurich to raise money for cancer survivors and their families.

Purple Plunge, which took place at Breezewald Park this Saturday, March 2, hosted several school athletic teams and volunteers, as well as donors from around the community. Participants raised money online ahead of the event, and then plunged into the icy waters of Lake Zurich, some wearing nothing more than a bathing suit. The event brought in over $101,200 for local cancer survivors and their families, said Sophia Szady, girls track and field member who inspired her team to sign up.

“[I] inspired my teammates and coaches to join me in the Plunge because many of them, like me, have been affected by cancer in some way,” Szady said. “A majority of LZ students [who participated] were there to volunteer, plunge, or cheer on everyone else. Everyone seemed to enjoy being part of the event because they loved the local feel and support from the entire LZ community.”

This friendly atmosphere was in part due to the enthusiastic participation of many school athletic teams such as football and track and field, according to sophomore Anthony Enciso, Interact volunteer at the event. In addition, participants were encouraged to dress up in costumes, bid on raffle items, and attend the post Plunge party at Scoreboard Bar and Grill; all of which made the event enjoyable, said Enciso.

“My favorite thing was helping out people who going swimming in that freezing lake, and just being there was really fun,” Enciso said. “[Being outside] was really cold, but [the Purple Plunge] also made me see how much we can help the community and support those who need help.”

Because of this excitement from volunteers and participants alike, Szady considers the event a huge success.

“More Lake Zurich students and teachers should take the plunge next year,” Szady said. “Plunging in the frozen lake next to all my teammates and [my] coach, it’s something that I will remember for the rest of my life.”

Although the event has ended, those interested can still donate to here.