Several members of the Villa Park Police Department participated in Saturday afternoon’s 2019 Polar Plunge at the Oak Brook Bath and Tennis Club. Multiple area law-enforcement agencies took part in the event, which supported Special Olympics Illinois. The participants briefly braved the frigid waters of an icy pond at the fundraiser. The Villa Park Police Department raised about $5,000 for this year’s Polar Plunge. In addition to police department members, the Villa Park contingent of “plungers” included Villa Park Fire Chief Ron Rakosnik, Villa Park Economic Development Director Jan Fiola, Willowbrook High School English teacher/Special Olympics coach/varsity girls swimming coach Tara Murphy and Willowbrook girls assistant swimming coach Amy Martello. One photo, taken moments before the plunge, shows (front row) Villa Park Police Officer Elizabeth Gonzalez, (second row, left to right) Villa Park Police Officer Steve Lay and Villa Park Police Detective Donald Giammarino; (back row, left to right) Villa Park Police Officer Luis Lozano-Ortiz, Villa Park Police Officer Patrick Burke, Villa Park part-time Officer Sean Knudtson, Villa Park Police Chief Michael Lay, Villa Park Police Officer Ilir Bekteshi, Fiola, Rakosnik, Villa Park Deputy Police Chief Bill Lyons, Martello and Murphy. The department’s fundraising total included a $200 donation from the Villa Park Police Benevolent Association. The association’s current president—Officer Kordell Kitching—in uniform, holding the check—is pictured presenting the check on Saturday. Pictured in the water during the plunge (left to right) are: Lyons, Rakosnik, Fiola, Chief Lay, Gonzalez and her husband, David.


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