Penguin Swim Eyes 20th Edition

Some of the hundreds of participants are pictured in last year’s Atlantic General Hospital Penguin Swim.  Photo by Chris Parypa Some of the hundreds of participants are pictured in last year’s Atlantic General Hospital Penguin Swim. Photo by Chris Parypa

OCEAN CITY – Next week marks the 20th Anniversary of Atlantic General Hospital’s (AGH) Penguin Swim and a slew of fun and exciting additions are planned for the event.
The 20th Annual AGH Penguin Swim is set for Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 and will take place once again at the Princess Royale Oceanfront Hotel in Ocean City.
AGH Foundation Co-Chairs Sal Fasano and Madalaine How are leading the event planning committee this year and the committee has been busy for months revving up efforts for a super fundraiser.
The 2014 Penguin Swim promises to be filled with fun and excitement, according to organizers. There will be new incentive prizes for all swimmers and new winning categories for those teams who raise the most money.
“We are having a bigger, better costume contest this year with fabulous prizes,” AGH Development Coordinator Laura Stearns said.
Penguins are encouraged to come wearing costumes to be eligible for prizes. In response to popular demand, the team category has been divided; prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place for business teams as well as the top teams for community groups and organizations.
In honor of the special anniversary, the swim will be even more festive this year.  Frankie, the miniature trick pony, will be entertaining the masses dressed up as a penguin walking the beach for photo ops. Additionally, ice sculptor Erik Cantine will create a seven-foot tall ice throne for penguins o climb and take photos on.
AGH, the beneficiary of the event, looks to continue to raise the bar this year. Since its inception, the Penguin Swim has raised nearly $900,000 for AGH. Last year there were at least 1,000 people on the beach between 632 Penguins and supporters. Over $80,000 was raised.
“The fact that it’s on New Year’s Day it is a great way to start out the year by washing out the old and starting anew with a cold plunge,” Stearns said. “I think that is the driving force behind a lot of penguins, they like to come in there and start the New Year by jumping in the Atlantic. I have never seen so many smiling faces coming out of the ocean. It is just fun to watch. Even for the people who aren’t participating, it is a fun thing to watch because every face just smiles.”
Individual and team participants can register now to start collecting donations.  For more information or to register, visit www.penguinswim.atlanticgeneral.org. The event can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/penguinswim or call the Atlantic General Hospital Foundation office at 410-641-9671.
Pre-registration and advance check-in is available from 2-4 p.m. at the Princess Royale Hotel Atrium on 91st Street and the Ocean.
The event takes place the following day with registration and check-in at 11:30 a.m., event day photo op sessions 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and the plunge begins at 1 p.m.
Proceeds from the event, gathered through corporate sponsorships and participant fundraising, support the strategic plans undertaken by AGH to uphold their mission to improve individual and community health. AGH is a 501(c) 3 organization.
AGH has been providing health care services to the residents of Worcester, Wicomico, Somerset and Sussex counties since May 1993. The hospital was founded and built after a major community effort led by residents and elected officials. Today, the health system consists of a network of more than 25 primary care provider and specialist offices.

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