Lady Gaga, Celebs Brave Icy Waters

Lady Gaga joins Taylor Kinney, Vince Vaughn to raise money for Special Olympics


It may be known for the wind, but Chicago's waters can get pretty frigid, too. That didn't stop some celebrities from jumping in recently.

Several celebrities plunged into the icy Lake Michigan water late last month to help raise $1.1 million for the Special Olympics at Chicago's Polar Plunge. Lady Gaga, her fiance (and "Chicago Fire" star) Taylor Kinney, actor Vince Vaughn and Chicago mayoral candidate Jesus "Chuy" Garcia joined over 4,500 other participants on behalf of the cause.

"It was awesome," Gaga said after doing her part, per the Chicago Tribune.

The dip was also quite cold.

"I just didn't know it was going to be frozen," 27-year-old Jared Pavan told the Tribune. "I feel great right now. It's for an amazing cause."

The first international edition of the Special Olympics Summer Games was held in Chicago in 1968 after Eunice Kennedy Shriver spearheaded a campaign to raise awareness about those living with disabilities.

As the organization's website explains, "Special Olympics is for people who are different because they learn new skills slowly ...They have an intellectual disability, or ID."

The organization supports 4.4 million athletes from over 170 different countries — thanks in large part to money raised by the likes of Gaga and Co. Fresh off her well-received "Sound of Music" performance at the Oscars, the recently-engaged Gaga joined Kinney for his second time taking the dive.

"She's pure heart," president of Special Olympics Chicago Casey Hogan told the Tribune. "She came out for the cause — low-key, no press. It doesn't get any better than that."

Vaughn — a Lake Forest, IL, native known for roles in films like "Wedding Crashers" and "Swingers" — was the event's celebrity guest of honor. He encouraged those attending to "go out there and have some fun."

Icy though it was, all that fun might have done some serious good.