Polar Plunge Raises Record $1.2 Million

Celebrity appearances by Vince Vaughn and Lady Gaga helped Special Olympics Chicago raise the $1.2 million

This year's Polar Plunge went more than swimmingly.

Sunday's event raised more than $1.2 million for Special Olympics Chicago, breaking the record set in 2014. Last year's event, which featured Jimmy Fallon and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, raised $1 million.

This year's Plunge also had record attendance and record star power. More than 4,500 people took the icy dip, including Vince Vaughn, Lady Gaga and some cast members from "Chicago Fire" and "Chicago P.D."

Vaughn was the celebrity guest of honor at the event after Special Olympics Chicago recruited him in a social media campaign using the hashtag #VinnyDippin. The "Wedding Crashers" actor showed his Chicago pride and donned a Blackhawks jersey for the plunge.

Lady Gaga made a surprise appearance at the event with her "Chicago Fire" fiance, Taylor Kinney. The two were joined by Kinney's co-star David Eigenberg and "Chicago P.D.'s" Jon Seda.

The Polar Plunge began in 2000 when it raised just $40,000 to benefit Special Olympics Chicago. Since then, the event has grown exponentially.

"The weather may have been chilly and the water temperature 32 degrees, but this was a day filled with warmth and love for our athletes who work so hard all year," Casey Hogan, president of Special Olympics Chicago, said.

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