OCEAN CITY – Although the official count is still being tabulated, as of Wednesday, the 19th Annual Penguin Swim raised over $80,000 to go toward Atlantic General Hospital.
On New Year’s Day, the Penguin Swim was held in front of the Princess Royale Hotel. Atlantic General Hospital (AGH) Director of Development Donna Pellinger said attendance was down compared to prior years, but the weather was better than what was forecasted.
“Since its inception, the Penguin Swim has raised more than $800,000 for AGH. We are so grateful for the event sponsors, participants and volunteers who ensure this event’s continued success. We are looking forward to January 2014 when we celebrate our 20th Annual Penguin Swim,” Pellinger said. “Special thanks to our Event Co-Chairs, Patricia Ilczuk-Lavanceau and Sal Fasano. We cannot thank Patricia enough for her four years of leadership and dedication as the Penguin Swim event chair.”
According to Pellinger, more than 650 participants signed up for the Penguin Swim and more than $80,000 was raised for AGH. Last year there were nearly 1,000 participants and about $88,000 was raised. The final results will be released at a later date as donations are still being submitted.
So far this year the top individual fundraisers were Craig Kettler from Leesburg, Va., with $3,460; Butch “Woody” German from Baltimore, Md., with $2,194; and Bill Mitchell from Laurel, Md. with $575.
The top fundraisers in the 18 and Under Division were Benjamin Kettler from Leesburg, Va., raising $380; Jacob Shockley from Ocean City, raising $250; and Kara Styron from Joppa, Md., raising $150.
The top team fundraiser was once again the Bull on the Beach, which raised $25,000, followed by the Parke Penguins Ocean Pines who raised $8,810, and the Ocean City Ravens Roost #44 who raised $5,306.
The top fundraisers in the Team-18 & Under Division were Stephen Decatur High School, raising $1,804; Maryland Tree Service, which raised $300; and the Crimson Fireballs, which raised $250.
Prizes were also awarded for the youngest and oldest swimmers and winners of the costume contest, the youngest being Lilianna Browning, who is 6 months old, and the oldest being Sylvia Angstadt, who is 79 years old.
The costume contest winner for best overall was Butch Lorditch of Reinholds, Pa., the most spirited was Dave Kelley of Alexandria, Va., the most creative was Cy Tertel of Whitehall, Pa., and the best little penguin was Alexis Iovacchini of Salisbury, Md.
Pellinger said an exciting addition this year was the Casino at Ocean Downs sponsored the Penguin Ice sculpture and donated the time of ice artist, Erik Cantine, who wowed the crowd by creating an ice sculpture on the spot.