LINCOLN PARK — It wasn't an award show, but it sure looked like one at North Avenue Beach Sunday as a star-studded cast of plungers dived into Lake Michigan for the 15th annual Polar Plunge.
"It's too late to turn back now," said actor Vince Vaughn, the guest of honor who led this year's plungers. "Let's get out there and have some fun."
Vaughn was followed by "Chicago Fire" actor Taylor Kinney and fiancee Lady Gaga. Kinney's co-stars David Eigenberg and Randy Flagler also took the dip, immersing themselves under the icy water.
Vaughn, Lady Gaga and the "Chicago Fire" stars and mayoral candidate Jesus "Chuy' Garcia were among 4,500 people who took the plunge to raise money for the Chicago Special Olympics.
During last year's Polar Plunge, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon and nearly 3,200 people took a dip and raised more than $1 million. Organizers predict this year's plunge will bring another $1 million.
Three-time plunger Andres Claveto, 27, of the West Loop, and a group of friends came together to raise $3,200 for this year's plunge.
"It's a fun of event, the money goes to a great cause," said Claveto, who has volunteered with Special Olympics in the past.
Team Tang, which has been plunging for five years, raised more than $30,900 before this year's plunge.
Team Tang member and Miss Illinois 2014 Marsha Lowe, 31, was excited to be apart of this year's plunge.
"It's a great event and a cause, and Team Tang is a great team."
Returning plungers Ebony and Timothy Karrig, of Garfield Ridge, have been taking part in the event in honor of their 6-year-old son, Kidd, who has Down syndrome.
"Seeing all the people our here, supporting [Special Olympics] and raising awareness is amazing. My heart is full," said Ebony Karrig.
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