CITGO Lemont Refinery Dives into Lake Michigan to Raise Support for Special Olympics Chicago

LEMONT, Ill. – March 28, 2017 – On Sunday, March 5, the CITGO Lemont Refinery joined over 5,000 participants at the 17th Annual Chicago Polar Plunge at North Avenue Beach. TeamCITGO volunteers dove into frigid Lake Michigan water – raising over $10,000 in support of Special Olympics Chicago athletes. 
“CITGO is already a strong supporter of the Special Olympics organization, and so when we were asked to participate in the Plunge this year, we were honored,” said Jim Cristman, vice president and general manager of the CITGO Lemont Refinery.
According to Cristman, the enthusiasm and commitment from the other participants the day of the Plunge was contagious. TeamCITGO thoroughly enjoyed the experience and looks forward to returning next year. 
The Chicago Polar Plunge is the largest 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.
CITGO enjoys a longstanding relationship with the Special Olympics due to shared values of inclusion and respect. Employees have donated thousands of hours of their personal time to the various benefits and charity events associated with the Special Olympics in the United States. In 2015, CITGO was the official fuel sponsor of the Special Olympics’ Unified Relay Across America – a nationwide race leading up to the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles.
At CITGO, we encourage our employees, retirees, contractors, families and neighbors to get involved in our local communities. In 2014, we merged all of CITGO volunteer efforts under one banner name: TeamCITGO. Through this effort, we enhanced our community engagement and volunteer-focused efforts and looked for opportunities to collaborate across CITGO operational regions to create a bigger impact. The purpose of TeamCITGO is simple: we are here to help – whether it is community activities, volunteer services or fundraising for charitable organizations.

About the CITGO Lemont Refinery
For over 90 years, CITGO Lemont Refinery has employed more than 750 Chicago area residents on a full-time and contract basis in support of the local economy. In addition to producing high quality fuels for a large portion of the network of nearly 5,500 locally-owned CITGO stations across the country, Lemont Refinery employees also make a major positive impact on the community. Each year, more than 2,500 volunteer hours and thousands of dollars are given in support of community programs such as Muscular Dystrophy Association, United Way and a variety of environmental and preservation programs. Operations at the Lemont Refinery began in 1925 with a major expansion, doubling the facility, in 1933. Over the years, new units were added to meet the demand for a better quality of gas for automobiles, aviation fuel for WWII, and the production of asphalt. Petróleos de Venezuela, PDVSA, acquired 100% ownership of the refinery in 1997 and began operations as CITGO Lemont Refinery. For more information, visit

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