CHICAGO (CBS) — Special Olympics Chicago announced Tuesday that the 2017 Chicago Polar Plunge broke all fundraising records for the fourth consecutive year.

The 2017 event, which took place Sunday, March 5 drew a group of 5,500 plungers and raised $1.53 million dollars. That number is growing, with donations being accepted through the end of March.

“This year’s Chicago Polar Plunge was unlike any other, with beautiful weather temperatures, a balmy 40-degree Lake Michigan, and incredible support from thousands of plungers and spectators,” said Kevin Magnuson, president of SCC/Special Olympics Chicago, in a statment. “The Chicago Polar Plunge is an enormously important day for our 6,800 athletes, as it helps to fund everything from lunches and medals to sports equipment and transportation to events. We are incredibly grateful to all of our plungers, who once again broke all fundraising goals and records. And, thank you also to Dax Shepard – we could not have had a better celebrity lead the first group into the Lake. He was gracious, engaging and was genuinely happy to support our athletes.”

pp2017 4 2017 Chicago Polar Plunge Breaks Record For 4th Consecutive Year

Actor, Dax Shepard with Special Olympics Chicago athletes (Credit: Special Olympics Chicago)

Actor Dax Shepard was 2017’s VIP, or Very Important Plunger. Shepard promoted the upcoming action comedy “CHiPS,” in which he stars in, by wearing his CHiPS police uniform while taking the plunge. Shepard was joined by cast members of Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med, and Chicago Justice.

The Chicago Polar Plunge is the largest fundraiser of the year for Special Olympics Chicago, providing year-round activities and events to nearly 6,800 athletes. The ComEd Coolers was the largest team for another year running with with 675 participants and over $271,000 donated.

Donations will be accepted through the end of March. To donate visit

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