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Jimmy Fallon takes the plunge for Special Olympics

Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon took the plunge in Chicago to raise money for Special Olympics. Chicago held their annual Polar Plunge on Sunday March 2 as a fundraiser for athletes with intellectual disabilities. The Special Olympics was founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in the 1950's when she wanted to give these special kids a place to play. Now the Special Olympics is hosting games in 170 countries and has more than 4.2 million athletes.

Jimmy Fallon ran in the Chicago Polar Plunge for Special Olympics on March 2 ,2014.
Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Polar Plunges happen throughout the United States. Runners plunge into ice cold water to raise money to support Special Olympians in their area. Kansas City's annual Polar Plunge was held on January 25. There were 1,104 participants who raised more than $290,000 for Special Olympic athletes in the metro area!

Special Olympics help kids and adults with intellectual disabilities gain confidence and self-esteem. The smiles on their faces as they compete show the fun they are having and skills they are building. Special Olympics makes amazing differences in the lives of those who compete and volunteer. The Polar Plunge is only one of many fundraisers that support these athletes. Annual fundraising events in Kansas City include the Torch Run, Over the Edge, Drive it Home Raffle, Shop'n Save Golf Benefit, Broadway Bridge Run, Tip a Cop, Clayton Run, Cycle for the Future, and Shamrock 5k Fun Run. Click fundraisers for more information about these events.

The Heroes Pull will be happening in Shawnee, KS on March 16. This is a fun fundraiser in which teams of people attempt to pull vehicles that weigh approximately 3,000 pounds. This fundraiser is a part of the Kansas Law Enforcement Torch Run.

To volunteer or for more information about Special Olympics in Missouri go to http://somo.org/Home. For more information or to volunteer for Special Olympics in Kansas http://www.ksso.org/.