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Special Olympics Pennsylvania kicks off weekend events including Polar Plunge: "It's a great cause"

Chillin' for a purpose: Special Olympics Pennsylvania's Polar Plunge
Chillin' for a purpose: Special Olympics Pennsylvania's Polar Plunge 02:33

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A Polar Plunge for a great cause Friday had thousands of students at Citizens Bank Park.

A weekend of events kicked off for Special Olympics Pennsylvania which hosts eight polar plunges around the state to raise money for sports, health, and leadership programs.

In the shadow of Hall of Fame slugger Mike Schmidt, thousands of students crowded into Citizens Bank Park for the Polar Plunge. 

"It's a great cause," one person said.

Special Olympics Pennsylvania provides year-round training and competition for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

"To make the world a more inclusive, kinder and more accepting place where all students can feel belonging that helps the entire community embrace a culture of inclusion, bringing people with and without intellectual disabilities together," said Chase Trimmer, who works with Special Olympics Pennsylvania.

The event raises about $140,000 for programs that support 13,000 special Olympians in Pennsylvania.

One participant said, "My sister is a Special Olympics athlete and it's one of the highlights of the year to do the Polar Plunge."

Friday was the Cool Schools Plunge, a friendly fundraising competition between high schools in the Philadelphia region.

CBS News Philadelphia

Emily Kwon from Marple Newtown High School said, "I think it's really thoughtful and fun and easy to do it; everyone can join."

Kwon was at the event with a united pair from her school, Anthony Maggitti. He said he loved everything.

Along with the icy pool, there's fun and games, and all kinds of students having fun lucky to have a mild day in February. 

A Polar Plunge to warm the hearts of special Olympians.

Saturday is the public plunge when everyone is invited to take a cold dunk to support the Special Olympics.

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