NORMAL, Ill., Nov. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Registration is now open for one of the coolest events of the winter - the 2017 Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge ® to benefit Special Olympics Illinois! Individuals and teams can register for the Plunge on the Special Olympics Illinois website at www.plungeillinois.com. Thousands of warm-hearted individuals will jump into freezing cold water over various weekends from Feb. 17 through March 19 as part of the annual Polar Plunge presented by GEICO. The Polar Plunge is one of the premier fundraising events for the Law Enforcement Torch Run and Special Olympics Illinois. In 2016, more than $1.9 million was raised by 6,480 Plungers statewide; in 18 years, $16.5 million has been raised by more than 60,000 Plungers. The event has grown from one location in 1999 to 22 locations across the state this year. The Polar Plunge season will kick off with a SUPER Plunge - where participants raise a minimum of $2,500 and plunge into Lake Michigan once an hour every hour for 24 hours - on Feb. 17 & 18 in Evanston. Any adventurous soul is invited to join their community in taking the plunge. Each Plunger must collect a minimum of $100 in donations that will be used to support the more than 22,000 Special Olympics Illinois athletes. For a full list of the 2017 Plunge locations throughout Illinois, visit www.plungeillinois.com. Plungers are encouraged to form teams to spread the fun. Teams are placed into divisions based on size and are awarded prizes for the most money raised. All Plungers will receive a commemorative Polar Plunge sweatshirt, compete for prizes, and enjoy food and camaraderie with other participants. For every $500 a Plunger raises, he/she will get an entry into the drawing for a grand prize. The Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run is the single largest year-round fundraising vehicle benefiting Special Olympics Illinois. The annual intrastate relay and its various fundraising projects have two goals: to raise money and increase public awareness for the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois. Each year, more than 3,000 officers in Illinois run more than 1,500 miles carrying the Flame of Hope through the streets of their hometowns and deliver it to the State Summer Games in Normal in June.