Jimmy Fallon Helps Chicago Polar Plunge Raise Record $1M

Jimmy Fallon took an icy dip into Lake Michigan after a challenge from Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014  |  Updated 10:16 AM CDT
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Watch as Jimmy Fallon runs into icy Lake Michigan for Chicago's Polar Plunge.

Watch as Jimmy Fallon runs into icy Lake Michigan for Chicago's Polar Plunge.

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Rahm Gets Emotional at Polar Plunge

Moments before Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel ran into icy Lake Michigan waters Sunday, he got emotional talking about why he was about to take the plunge.
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Polar Plunge organizers are feeling simply "swimmy" over the latest results of this year's star-studded event for charity.

The March 2 plunge raised a record $1 million for Special Olympics Chicago, the organization announced Monday. It's thanks in part to "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon (aka #swimmyfallon) taking an icy dip in Lake Michigan after a challenge from Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The event also drew a record 3,200 participants.

Fallon charged the icy waters wearing his suit and tie alongside Emanuel, and came out looking cold and shocked.

"I think the water was 30 degrees or something," Fallon said on his show after the plunge. "It's insane. And I'm just going like, 'This is just nuts,' and I go in .. and I took a ski hat off a kid. I didn't care."

The day after the event, organizers announced a record $930,000 had been raised for Chicago's Special Olympics. Their goal was $1 million, which was reached Monday morning. Donations of $20 or more received a #swimmyfallon T-shirt.

Emanuel got involved with the event after Chicago schoolchildren met his challenge to read two million books last summer, and he said he would consider a repeat jump.

As for Fallon? 

"Absolutely not," Fallon said. "I'll donate money. I'll do whatever else. I'm not -- I mean, that was just crazy."

NBC Chicago was a media sponsor for Sunday's event at North Avenue Beach.

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