When I describe the Hillard Heintze office culture to family, friends and prospective new employees, I like to say we are a tight-knit group with two key shared priorities:

  1. Helping each other and our community, and
  2. Eating.

And if we can combine the two? Well that’s a win for everyone involved.

Freezing Our Assets Off

Earlier this year, Hillard Heintze COO Kenneth Bouche asked me if I thought we could convince some of our colleagues to face the cold and participate in the Polar Plunge presented by the Law Enforcement Torch Run and GEICO to benefit Special Olympics Illinois.

After some arm twisting and a touch of public shaming, Ken and I convinced 12 brave souls to join us on the Hillard Heintze Frozen Assets team. We each pledged to raise at least $100 for Special Olympics and then jump into frigid Lake Michigan on a Saturday afternoon in February.

With the support of our friends and colleagues, the Frozen Assets team raised $10,000 for the cause. Then came the part we were all dreading – the plunge.

Miraculously, the weather gods shined upon us and it was a balmy 70 degrees on the day we were slated to jump – although the water was still a brisk 35 degrees.

The few minutes of discomfort were well worth it because we knew we were supporting an amazing cause. On the day of our plunge alone, the 244 Plungers at the Lake Michigan Plunge – including the Frozen Assets – raised just over $77,000.

Across the state, 6,367 Polar Plungers and their supporters raised a staggering $1.9 million for the 22,000 traditional athletes and 20,000 young athletes of Special Olympics Illinois.

Donut Friday – A Hillard Heintze Tradition

Maybe you’re not interested in risking frostbite to support a cause – I know the odds of having another 70-degree February day next year are slim – but I think it will require a lot less arm twisting to convince people to eat a donut for a good cause.

Many years ago, Ken told me a story about speaking at a school when a child asked him why cops love donuts. He replied simply, “Who doesn’t love donuts?”

My thoughts exactly.

Donut Friday is a big event at the office. Every Friday, we each take a turn bringing in donuts from a bakery in our neighborhoods. Sometimes, Donut Friday can get controversial: Can you bring bagels? What about Danishes? Pork baos can be delicious, but are they an equivalent donut substitute?

This Friday, I encourage you all to put the donut controversies aside and celebrate Donut Friday the traditional way – and contribute to a wonderful organization – by supporting the 15th Dunkin’ Donuts Cop on a Rooftop fundraiser hosted by the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Illinois.

Law enforcement officers across Illinois will post up on Dunkin’ Donuts’ rooftops to increase awareness and raise money for the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Illinois. During last year’s event, more than $670,000 was donated.

If you see a cop on a rooftop on Friday, stop in or use the drive-thru to make a donation to the athletes of the Special Olympics. In return, you will receive a coupon for a free donut.

It’s a win-win – because who doesn’t love donuts?