OAK PARK'S NEXT: Participants take the Polar Plunge in Fox Lake. Oak Park will take the plunge in Evanston on Feb. 23. | Screenshot

Oak Park public schools are in the fight of their lives. 

It’s David vs. Goliath or Rocky Balboa vs. Apollo Creed (see this great YouTube video: youtube.com/watch?v=I84xpip6vOU). Whatever the analogy, the struggle is real.

For the last seven years, Lyons Township has raised the most funds from the annual Polar Plunge in Lake Michigan to support Special Olympics. 

This year, however, Oak Park Elementary Schools District 97 and Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200 are teaming up to take Lyons down. 

The two Oak Park districts have 10 Special Olympics sports between them and serve more than 700 athletes in Oak Park — one of the largest Special Olympics programs in the state, according to officials in those districts. 

This year, the districts wanted Oak Park to throw its weight around a little and fundraise like the Special Olympics powerhouse it is. 

This year, volunteers will take the plunge on behalf of Oak Park schools on Sunday, Feb. 23, 1 p.m., at 2311 Campus Drive in Evanston. 

Don’t want to take the plunge? You can still get your feet wet by donating (visit: bit.ly/2V23zK5). As of Feb. 18, Oak Park had raised $31,090 (104 percent of its $30,000 goal). And Lyons Township? It was at just $14,927 as of Tuesday morning. 

Looks like the roles may need to be reversed. 

Michael Romain  

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