Log Cabin Chronicles


© 2011 Gordon Alexander
Chilled Plungers do their thing to support challenged athletes during the 8th Annual Penguin Plunge in Lake Memphremagog at Newport, Vermont.

Gordon Alexander
Posted 02.15.11

'Penguins' plunge into icy lake water to support challenged athletes

NEWPORT, VT | One of the most outstanding spectator events during the annual Winter Carnival here was the Penguin Plunge on February 12. Some two hundred spectators gathered around a swimming-pool size hole in the ice provided by the Newport Fire Department to cheer on hardy and wildly cheerful plungers who, for a good cause, braved the 34-degree water temperature in 30-degree air temperature of Lake Memphremagog.

Bundled-up spectators shook their head in awe of the nerve and stamina of the swimmers as waves comprised of eight teams of plungers hit the icy waters. Some carrying toilet plungers to playfully illustrate the plunge.

Coming out of the frigid water, bathers were handed towels by members of the Fire Department and other volunteers.

Funds gathered for the event will go towards financing year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for 852 athletes throughout the state -- children and adults with intellectual challenges, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness.

Each of the student entrants had to pledge a minimum of $50 to qualify; adults were required to pledge $100. Entrants solicited sponsors from the friends and business throughout the community. Prizes were offered to those raising the most money for the fundraiser.

The Plunge is one of the most popular winter events in VermontŐs Northeast Kingdom.

© 2011 Gordon Alexander

copyright © 2011 Gordon Alexander/log cabin chronicles/2.11