LEMONT, Ill., April 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Volunteers from the CITGO Lemont Refinery made a splash at the 18th Annual Chicago Polar Plunge on March 4, 2018 at North Avenue Beach. The team of 14 plungers raised more than $5,000 to support Special Olympics athletes. The Chicago Polar Plunge is the largest area fundraiser of the year for Special Olympics Chicago, which provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

"Our team was honored to be able to support the Special Olympics Polar Plunge again this year," said Jim Cristman, CITGO Vice President of Refining. "The water was definitely cold, but the smiles and cheers of the Special Olympics athletes warmed all of our hearts. We value our long history with this organization and share its commitment to building inclusive communities."

CITGO enjoys a longstanding relationship with Special Olympics that is based on mutual values of inclusion and respect. Over the years, Team CITGO volunteers have served as Special Olympics coaches, trainers and event assistants. This year, the CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery marks 20 years as a proud sponsor of the Special Olympics South Texas Spring Games. In Lake Charles, CITGO has been a supporter of Southwest Louisiana Special Olympics for more than 30 years and an Olympic Torch Sponsor since 2016.

In addition to supporting regional games and efforts such as the Polar Plunge, CITGO Marketers and Retailers in 29 states and Washington, DC contribute their time and money to this important cause. CITGO is a global bronze sponsor of Special Olympics, supporting the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run's Truck Convoy for the past three years, as well as the Unified Schools national program, which empowers youth and educators to be leaders of change. In 2015, CITGO was honored to support the Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America as the official fuel sponsor. This summer, CITGO will be a Bronze Sponsor for Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Unified Cup, taking place in Chicago July 17-20, 2018, celebrating five decades of transforming lives through the joy of sport and changing attitudes about the talents of people with intellectual disabilities.

About the CITGO Lemont Refinery
The CITGO Lemont Refinery, which celebrated 90 years of operations in 2016, provides more than 700 jobs locally, while generating an economic impact of more than $470 million per year in support of the local economy through salaries, services and taxes. In addition to producing high-quality fuels for a network of nearly 300 independently owned and operated CITGO branded stations in the State of Illinois and thousands more across the country, CITGO Lemont Refinery employees are dedicated to making a positive difference in their communities. CITGO Lemont employees volunteer more than 2,000 hours on average annually to support causes and organizations including the Special Olympics, Muscular Dystrophy Association, YMCA, United Way and a variety of environmental stewardship programs. For more information, visit www.citgorefining.com/Lemont.

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit www.CITGO.com.