By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – One of the oldest polar bears in the world is lending a helping paw for a very special cause. Polar Plunge events will be taking place all over the region over the next few months benefiting Special Olympics programs.

Visitors of the Philadelphia Zoo were cheering for “Coldi” or “Coldilocks,” the 36-year-old polar bear, to plunge into the pool of her outdoor enclosure.

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Despite fishy treats to entice her, the bear decided to bask in the sun as Megan Murphy of Philadelphia, a Special Olympics athlete romped in a pool of icy water set up nearby.

The “pre-plunge” event was held to create excitement for Polar Plunge events.

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Kristin Craven with Special Olympics Pennsylvania says there will be nearly ten of the fundraisers in the commonwealth alone over the coming months

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“These events bring awareness and funds, not just the Philadelphia programs, but all of the programs around the state for the athletes,” Craven said. “Because the athletes and their families never have to pay a penny for any of the programming that we do.”

Each participant is being asked to donate a minimum of $50.

There is also a “Too Chicken to Plunge” option where you can raise money and stay on dry land, where participants can take part in a ceremonial chicken dance prior to the plungers going in.

Click here for more information on upcoming polar plunge events in Pennsylvania.

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