OTTAWA, ILIf you’ve never jumped into the frigid waters of the Illinois River in the middle of the winter? Well, Heritage Harbor Ottawa and Quest Watersports can help change that!

In the fourth year, the Penguin Plunge challenges hundreds of brave jumpers to jump together and make wishes come true for children facing life-threatening medical conditions. It’s a great way for everyone—individuals, organizations and businesses—to get involved in supporting Make-A-Wish of Illinois. All funds raised go towards granting children wishes in LaSalle County and its surrounding areas.  Last year over $72,000 was raised granting twelve wishes.

The plunge, will take place on Saturday, January 3rd at Heritage Harbor Marina and the goal has been set to raise over $100,000.  Registration will begin at noon and the plunge beginning at 2 pm.   School teams, corporations, organizations and individuals are all encouraged to take the Plunge.

“The chill you feel is so brief, but the thrill of watching the community come together for such a great cause, will keep you warm for years to come,” explains Tammy Barry, Sales & Marketing Director for Heritage Harbor Ottawa.

Think you have what it takes? The concept is simple: participants raise a minimum of $100 and take a dip into the Illinois River.  They will receive an official Penguin Plunge long sleeve T-shirt for their efforts. But the day of the Plunge is so much more than that: It’s a lot of fun with live music starting at 11:30, food & refreshments for sale.  It’s a thrilling day that you really have to experience to understand. Grab some friends and co-workers, get pumped and register at

The event is being sponsored by Heritage Harbor Ottawa, Centrue Bank, Ottawa Firefighter’s Local 523, Quest Watersports, Jeff and Peggy Lovelady, Gerald Automotive Group, Halm Electrical Contracting, Ladd Sound Productions, Exelon LaSalle Station, Golden Rule Lumber, Amanda Hart Design, Appleway Catering, Thrush Sanitation, CRASH, Festivities Unlimited, Dave Van Duzer, Illinois Valley Labor Management, Joe Hughes, Chris Farrell, WCMY/95.3 SAM, Conroy Automotive and Towing.  The event will take place at the boat ramp at Heritage Harbor marina and there will be a large heated tent at the event site for jumpers and plungers to stay warm before the plunge.

The kick-off to the 2015 Penguin Plunge will take place on Thursday, November 6th at 5:30 pm at Festivities Unlimited.  The kick-off will offer free appetizers and a cash bar and important announcements will be made. If you will be attending the kick-off event please RSVP by calling (815) 433-5000 or email  Event updates, sign up forms and other helpful tools can also be found on Heritage Harbor Ottawa’s Facebook Page, click on the Penguin Plunge tab for more information.

For more information on this year’s Penguin Plunge, call (815) 433-2200.  It will truly be an experience of a lifetime!