Mayor’s Arctic Dip will remember Hofeld’s fall, benefit humane society

A year ago in December 2017, Homewood Mayor Richard Hofeld plunged into a lake at Izaak Walton Preserve while trying to rescue Annie, his black Labrador retriever, who had fallen through the ice. 

  Homewood Mayor Rich
  Hofeld.
 (Official photo)
 

After a grueling 20 minutes in the frigid water, Hofeld and Annie were rescued by Homewood firefighters.

In a tongue-in-check homage to Hofeld's harrowing ordeal, the village will host the Mayor’s Arctic Dip to benefit the South Suburban Humane Society on Jan. 12.

South Suburban Humane Society CEO Emily Klehm said Hofeld told her over the summer that he was challenged to take another dip into the Walton pond on the one-year anniversary of his fall for a donation to the humane society. 



“The more we all thought about it, the more we thought we could do a Polar Plunge-type event, just not at Izaak Walton because that wouldn’t be safe,” Klehm said. “This event was born.”


Things kick off at 1 p.m. at the Homewood Science Center with an animal-themed costume contest. Then, the swimmers — including village officials and humane society staffers — will head to a pool on Martin Avenue.

“I’m going in. I do not not want to go in,” Klehm said. “But I said to my staff that if the 80-year-old mayor can go in, I can.” 

The science center will host an after party with Aurelio’s Pizza, Tito’s Vodka, hot chocolate and La Voute’s chili. The costume contest and highest donation winners will be announced.

Those interested in joining the dippers can register for $25. Participants will have a donation page for additional donations. A ticket to the after party without a swim will cost $15 and will include a slice of pizza, a Tito’s beverage and hot chocolate.

Tickets are non-refundable, even in the case of inclement weather, and can be found online. For more information call the South Suburban Humane Society, at 708-755-7387.
 



 

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