Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and about a dozen other elected officials will jump into the weekend, literally, by taking a plunge Saturday morning into the Chicago River.
The high-profile antics are as part of a fundraiser aimed at boosting efforts to improve the quality of the river’s water, which many Chicago residents, familiar with the river’s reputation, have made a habit of avoiding.
Friends of the Chicago River and MWRD Commissioner Josina Morita are co-hosting the “Big Jump” event to highlight river cleanup projects and show their “commitment to making the river swimmable for all Chicagoans,” according to the event donation page.
The event will run from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Ping Tom Memorial Park in Chinatown.
Other officials set to jump into the river include U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, City Clerk Anna Valencia, State Treasurer Mike Frerichs, 25th Ward Ald. Danny Solis and Robert Kaplan, acting regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency.
Participation is limited to the elected officials.
“We also know many of you probably want to jump in with us, but members of the public are not allowed to jump,” reads the event page on the Friends’ website. “Please come out and watch the big jump and cheer everyone on!”
Donations from the event go toward the Friends of the Chicago River’s community education program and can be made here.
July 26: Big changes are coming to the North Branch of the Chicago River. Why some are up in arms over the plan.
Feb. 23: The Chicago River is a lot cleaner than it used to be. And after years of litigation, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and environmental groups have agreed to a settlement and will work together to make the river even cleaner.
Jan. 25: The decadeslong fight to clean up the Chicago River took a step forward last week with the resolution of two lawsuits targeting phosphorous discharge that has polluted waters from Chicago to the Gulf of Mexico.