By Kim Geiger
10:21 AM CDT, March 11, 2014
This year’s Chicago Polar Plunge, which featured Mayor Rahm Emanuel and “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon bounding into the icy waters of Lake Michigan, raised more than $1 million, Special Olympics Chicago announced today.
The March 2 event also attracted record participation with more than 3,200 people taking a dip in the lake as part of the 14th annual plunge, which benefits the athletes of Special Olympics Chicago.
The participation of Emanuel and Fallon raised the event’s visibility this year.
Emanuel, who took part for the first time, had agreed to participate if Chicago-area school children read more than two million books this summer. Fallon joined after securing a promise from Emanuel to appear as a guest on his show.
Funds raised by the Chicago Polar Plunge help to cover the costs of year-round activities, events, uniforms, transportation and sports equipment for more than 5,000 athletes throughout the city.
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