Locally, the OWL’s are well-known on Lake Michigan’s Evanston beaches and at the McGaw YMCA as US Master swimmers. We’ve supported each other’s water-bound goals in our open water swims, pot luck gatherings and in both local and international open water swim competitions. One of our members (Aurora Louise Gore) successfully crossed the English Channel in 2011 and our efforts have raised thousands of dollars for cancer research.

OWLs board members, friends and volunteers before our 100 x 100 Challenge

OWLs board members, friends and volunteers before our 100 x 100 Challenge

With an increase in membership, we’ve decided to extend our passion for the sport of open water swimming and give back to our community – and the lake we love -- by creating a not-for profit company: OWL. Through this organization, we will open up the exhilarating beauty and challenge of open water swimming to Evanston and launch our annual Great Lakes Plunge.

Evanston is a diverse lakefront community and as self-appointed stewards of this area of Lake Michigan, we seek to meet a need for all of our residents to enjoy our lake safely. Proceeds from our First Annual Great Lakes Plunge will support programs within our area that build community, encourage good health, promote water safety and of course, educate our community on Great Lakes environmental resources.

To learn more about the programs this great event will support, visit our Beneficiaries page and don't forget to stop by our Event Sponsor page to learn more about the organizations that are helping us with their donations.