By Joe Boyle
Worth Village Clerk Bonnie Price said she is ready to take the “plunge.”
Price will join members of the Worth Police Department to take part in the Polar Plunge, presented in part by the Law Enforcement Torch Run, beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 2 at Manteno Lake, 851 N. Main St., Manteno.
“At first I said no because I got nervous,” Price said after being asked to take a dip into the frigid waters. “And then I though about it and said I’m healthy and this is a chance to do good for others. I should help out.”
Price will also be joined by Linda Esposito, principal at Worthwoods Elementary School in Worth. Both said they are ready for this challenge that is for a good cause. This is the first time both are taking part in a Polar Plunge.
“I’m super excited about this,” said Esposito, who has been the principal at Worthwoods for the past three years. “I have supported them the past three years through pledges. But one of the officers asked me if I wanted to take part and I said yes. This is a really beautiful, beautiful community.”
Esposito, who grew up in Worth and attended Our Lady of the Ridge Elementary School in nearby Chicago Ridge, said the community is great and everyone helps out from the library, the (Marrs-Meyer American Legion) post, the mayor and the police department.
The event will take place to support Special Olympics athletes by taking a leap into Lake Manteno. The Worth police officers who are taking part in the plunge will be Joel Frias, the team leader; Roberto Frias, Mike Wirth, Mike Winiarczyk and Justin Meister.
Participants must raise $100 in donations from friends, family and co-workers in exchange for jumping into the icy waters. Along with the police officers, Price and Esposito have their supporters lined up to donate for this cause.
The Worth police officers also participate in the “Cop on Top,” which takes place in May where they also collect donations for Special Olympics.
Price and Esposito said it is their hope that the residents of Worth will come and provide moral support for the participants in this year’s Polar Plunge. A great turnout would be appreciated, Price said. Providing some cheers is just what the Worth PD could use, she added.
Esposito said that an assembly was held at Worthwoods School on Monday and students and the faculty were reminded about the Polar Plunge. Members of the Worth Police Department were also present at the assembly.
The principal was asked if she is concerned with the weather, which is expected to be cold.
“I’m excited and anyone who knows me can say that I love all weather,” said Esposito, who also served as assistant principal at Worth Junior High School and has taught at schools in Worth the past 32 years. “I love all types of weather. I hope it’s cold and snowing outside.”
The Worth PD team will also accept donations for the Special Olympics through April 30, according to the Worth Police Department.
“It’s really going to be exciting,” Price said. “I encourage everyone to come out. It will be a lot of fun, and it’s for a good cause.”
For additional information about the Polar Plunge, visit the main plunge site at www.plungeillinois.com.