The Special Olympics is a global movement of people who want to improve the lives of those with intellectual disabilities. Chicago’s Soldier Field was the site of the very first International Special Olympics Summer Games.

The Windy City is also the host of an annual charity event in support of the Special Olympics called the Polar Plunge (Click here!).

This is a charity that many corporations, organizations, and citizens take very seriously. So serious that thousands gathered at North Avenue beach to literally plunge themselves into the icy waters of Lake Michigan.

This is the 17th annual Polar Plunge and was a big hit raising in excess of $1.5 Million to help support the athletes of the Special Olympics.

Many city officials, actors, athletes, members of the community, and companies came out to brave the elements to take the plunge.

One of the Polar Plunge’s participating corporations was sausage giant, Johnsonville. Johnsonville was happy to be a sponsor of the Polar Plunge and is excited about the weather beginning to break.

polar plungeThe company takes the spirit of giving very seriously, as they have raised over $4 Million for charities across the country.

Headquartered in Sheboygan Falls, WI.  Johnsonville has been providing consumers with great-tasting, high-quality sausage, since 1945.

In celebration of the upcoming Spring and Summer season, they are preparing to “spark the season“. That’s right, it’s time to shed the winter coats, hot chocolate, and soup for slippers, shorts, and grill marks.

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Former pro linebacker Brian Urlacher came out to help serve up some of the first brats of the season at the Plunge!

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Fans got a chance to take a pic with Brian over juicy, hot brats grilled on Johnsonville’s huge Big Taste Grill.

The Big Taste Grill is a 20-foot tall, 65-foot long grill, which cooks 2,500 brats an hour or 750 brats at a time on its 40 square feet of grilling surface.

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After a brat right off the grill, why not cool off with a dip in Lake Michigan? Chicagoans go hard. And when it comes to the Polar Plunge they dig deep in their pockets and dress for the occasion.

Take a look at some of the teams that donated and were fearless enough to take the plunge!

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These extreme plungers didn’t let weather get in the way of what they love and neither should you.

To celebrate the new season, Johnsonville is having a #FirstBrats contest, which begins March 8, 2017 and ends May 15, 2017.

  • One (1) Grand Prize winner will receive lawn care for a year, a value of $1,500.
  • Fourteen (14) First Prize winners will receive a $100 grocery coupon code and a Johnsonville prize pack.

Official Contest rules can be found at


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnsonville. The opinions and text are all mine.