Very soon, hundreds of “penguins” will be plunging into the very cold water at Crystal Lake in Ellington to benefit Special Olympics Connecticut.
The 6th Annual Ellington Penguin Plunge is set to take place on March 23 and is sponsored by Taylor Energy, Maneeley’s Catering, Red Onion Restaurant, South Windsor Police Department, Crystal Lake Fire Department, and Environmental Services, Inc.
Several Special Olympics Connecticut athletes will be on hand to greet the participants and wish them well.
Registration will run from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and the plunge will begin at noon. Penguins will plunge in groups of up to 12, based on the beach and conditions. Parking will be tight in the beach lot and that will close before 10 a.m. for tent set up, volunteers and emergency services.
As has been done in the past, people will be shuttled to and from Crystal Lake School from 9:45 a.m. until 2 p.m. There is some on-road parking, and local law enforcement will be directing traffic.
Penguins are asked to bring their checks, counted cash, plunge envelope, and signed waiver the day of the plunge. Each participant is asked to raise at least $75, and registration can be done online at www.soct.org/plunges.
The staff also recommends bringing footwear, a towel, and cotton layers to change into after the plunge. There will be heated changing tents on site.
Pets and alcohol are not permitted.
Plunge merchandise – hoodies and knit hats – will be on sale, with the proceeds going to Special Olympics Connecticut. Food and refreshments – donated by Maneeley’s Catering and Red Onion Restaurant – will be available for a small donation.
Ashley Caveliere from KC101 will be the plunge emcee and will provide music before the plunge. The plunge is free to watch and is open to the public.
There will be several awards given out, including:
- Rockhopper Best Costume (individual)
- Waddle Best Costume (group)
- Emperor Penguin Top individual fundraiser
- Emperor Club Top fundraising group
- Silver Penguin Oldest Penguin
- Arctic Hero Top fundraising public safety group
- Rockin’ Schoolhouse Top fundraising school group
- Websurfer Top individual – online fundraising
- Penguin on the Rocks Top fundraising bar or restaurant
For additional questions regarding the event, please contact Marc Mercadante of Special Olympics Connecticut at 860-887-1555 or email@example.com.