BERLIN – Despite the chilling temperatures, officials at Atlantic General Hospital have deemed this year’s 24th Annual Penguin Swim a success.
As in years past, hundreds of individuals this week braved the chilly conditions and frigid ocean to take part in Atlantic General Hospital’s (AGH) annual Penguin Swim, a fundraiser to benefit the hospital and its many services.
On Monday, 340 participants, as well as nearly 80 registered swimmers with Bull on the Beach, rang in the New Year with a dip in the Atlantic Ocean. As of Wednesday, the hospital had netted $78,000 from the fundraiser.
“The goal this year was to net $84,000 and we’re expecting to reach it,” she said, “but right now the preliminary net is $78,000.”
Since its first year, the annual Penguin Swim has raised $1 million for the hospital. Stokes said this year’s money will bring that total to nearly $1.1 million. She added that Bull on the Beach raised $35,000 of this year’s $78,000.
While participation was lower than in prior years, Stokes said the day’s festivities were enjoyed by all swimmers.
On Monday, event officials recorded water temperatures in the upper 30s and air temperatures in the mid-20s.
“They said it was the coldest temperature ever recorded at the event,” Stokes said. “It was a high of 24, but with the wind it felt like 10 degrees.”
While weather deterred some from participating in this year’s Penguin Swim, Stokes said those that did swim this year remained safe.
“There were no casualties,” she joked. “Everyone was fine.”
Stokes said those still interesting in donating can do so by visiting www.aghpenguinswim.org.
“We don’t have a cutoff date,” she said.
Fundraising and costume winners listed in order of award sequence are as followed:
Bull on the Beach (Ocean City): $35,000
AGH Poppin’ Penguins (Berlin): $3,080
Blazing Suns (Ocean City): $1,000
OC Ravens Roost #44 (Berlin): $13,602
It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere (Port Jefferson, N.Y.): $1,765
O’Jettskis (Ocean City): $275
Psychedelic Penguins (Ocean City): $900
Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins (Jersey City, N.J.): $675
Team Cylc (Snow Hill): $315
Team Parker (Gaithersberg, Md.): $500
Team Cylc (Snow Hill): $388
O’Jettskis (Ocean City): $325
Craig Kettler (Leesburg, Va.): $3,825
Arleen Dinneen (Ellicott City, Md.): $815
Samantha Ewancio (Berlin): $625
Max Ewancio, Age 16 (Berlin): $725
Ben Kettler, Age 18 (Leesburg, Va.): $500
TIE: Nicholas Gordon, age 14 (Berlin) and Leila Attia, age 9 (Fallston, Md.): $100
Oldest and Youngest Penguins
Paul Neal (Selbyville), 76 years and 2 days
Grant Kesler (Vienna, Va.), 4 years, 11 months and 3 days
Best Overall: Mike Schlegel as “Rub-A-Dub-Dub-A-Man-In-A-Tub” (Breinigsville, Pa.)
Most Spirited: Lanch Bucheit as “Pittsburgh Penguin Bobblehead” (Bishopville)
Most Creative: Debbie Murosky as “Octopus” (Pittston, Pa.)
Best Little Penguin: Tristan Lorditch as “Army Sergeant” (Lancaster, Pa.)
Best Team/Group Costume: McKenna Schlegel, Sienna Pearce and Keera Pearce as “Candy Kitchen Girls” (Breinigsville, Pa.)