ComEd’s Leaders and Employees Brave Cold Lake Michigan for a Warm Cause

How do ComEd employees relax after a month of high winds, freezing rain and a polar vortex? With a dip in the chilly waters of Lake Michigan. On Sunday, March 3, more than 600 ComEd employees, family and friends will take part in the Polar Plunge, Special Olympics Chicago’s largest fundraiser of the year.

Leading the ComEd Coolers, who are traditionally the event’s largest fundraisers, are ComEd CEO Joe Dominguez, President and COO Terry Donnelly, and Shay Bahramirad, ComEd’s vice president of engineering and smart grid and the plunge’s largest individual fundraiser cumulatively for the previous three years.

“Since joining ComEd, I’ve been amazed by the number of our employees who are excited to race into the frigid lake every winter. It’s a testament to the depths they will go – in water or on dry land – to support our customers and give back to our communities,” said Dominguez, who will also be joined by former Chicago Bears great Otis Wilson.

So far, the ComEd Coolers have approximately $200,000 for this year’s Polar Plunge – the largest amount of any team – and will continue to raise funds and recruit participants until Sunday morning. In total, the company has raised nearly $1.35 million for Special Olympics Chicago since 2012.

“Seeing the work of Special Olympics Chicago inspired me to support and share their efforts to bring programming and events to additional athletes with intellectual disabilities in the Chicago area,” added Bahramirad, who herself raised more than $83,000 for the Plunge from 2016-2018. “I’m not the only one who is inspired by their efforts, which is reflected in the extraordinary response I get when looking for backers.”

While the Polar Plunge is the company’s largest volunteer event of the year, ComEd has a strong tradition of engaging with local nonprofit organizations and institutions to help customers live better and communities thrive. In addition to the company’s investments in workforce and economic development, and initiatives to help customers reduce their energy use and bills, in 2018, ComEd employees:

  • Recorded more than 28,000 hours of volunteer service – the most ever in a single year – with charitable organizations in northern Illinois focused on a variety of issues, including education, the environment and diversity and inclusion.
  • Donated $1.3 million to 700 charities through the company's employee giving campaign.
  • Served on the boards of 80 nonprofit and educational organizations.

Special Olympics Chicago expects approximately 3,000 people will participate in the 2019 Polar Plunge and raise approximately $1.4 million. The funds raised at the event support over 7,500 Special Olympians who compete year-round in the city of Chicago, covering program costs such as transportation, sports equipment, team uniforms and food.

ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), a Fortune 100 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.