Lady Gaga and her fiancé, Taylor Kinney, joined actor Vince Vaughn and other celebrities in the Chicago Polar Plunge Sunday, an annual charity event for the local chapter of Special Olympics.

More than 4,500 others braved the waters of Lake Michigan, which measured an icy 33 degrees, to raise $1.1 million dollars for the charity— the most in the event’s history.

“It’s fantastic,” Vaughn told reporters afterward.

Gaga, who went under from head to toe, emerged proclaiming, “It was awesome.” She later posted on Facebook, “Feels so good to do things for a good cause like the Special Olympics. It’s great donate money, but also great to donate a gesture of love for those who deserve to be showered with it.”


A polar plunge in Virginia Beach in February also raised more than  $1.1 million for that state’s Special Olympics.

Special Olympics Virginia president Rick Jeffrey said 4,781 chill seekers in that seaside city helped the group hit the one million dollar mark for the fifth year in a row.

“Our athletes face a number of foes and opponents each day but none is more pervasive than low expectations,” said Jeffrey on their website. “The community’s support of events like the Polar Plunge Winter Fest shows a commitment to celebrating what our athletes and communities can achieve when we play and live unified.”

(WATCH the video from TODAY or READ the story in the Chicago Tribune)

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