OCEAN CITY – Hundreds of individuals donning costumes and bathing suits braved the cold water of the Atlantic Ocean this week to raise funds for a community hospital.
On Tuesday, 653 participants, including 47 teams, welcomed the new year by taking a plunge in the ocean and raising more than $91,000 at Atlantic General Hospital’s (AGH) 25th Annual Penguin Swim.
As of Thursday, Event Coordinator Joy Stokes said the hospital collected $91,787 in total cash revenue from participant and donor contributions. She added that number is expected to increase as people continue to make donations in the coming days.
“We are really happy with how things turned out,” she said.
This year, the Penguin Swim concluded a year-long celebration of AGH’s 25th anniversary. In addition to the swim, activities included a beach parade, carnival games, face painting, mermaids and more.
“It was a pretty big year for everybody,” she said.
Stokes attributed the event’s success to organization, community support and warmer weather. Organizers recorded an air temperature of 64 degrees and a water temperature of 46 degrees.
To date, Stokes said the hospital has raised $1,433,235 – including $601,902 from legacy sponsor Bull on the Beach – from the annual Penguin Swim. The money supports health care services at the facility and in the community.
She added that those still interesting in donating can do so by visiting www.aghpenguinswim.org or sending a check to the Atlantic General Hospital Foundation. Individuals are asked to write “AGH Penguin Swim” in the memo.
“I think everything went off without a hitch this year,” she said. “The weather and community participation came into play and everything was well organized.”
Winners listed in order of award sequence are as followed.
It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere (Breinigsville, Pa.): $1,325
Parkers Penguins (Gaithersburg, Md.): $750
The Roarty Family (Churchville, Md.): $500
Ocean City Ravens Roost #44 (Ocean City): $16,000
OC FOOLS (Ocean City): $425
HFY Swim Team (Laurel, Del.): $200
Bull on the Beach (Ocean City): $30,000
Frosty Flip Flops (Berlin): $782
Swimming Skeletons (Berlin): $735
Samantha Ewancio (Berlin): $675
Robert LeCompte (Columbia, Md.): $525
Richard Moore (Glen Bernie, Md.): $500
Max Ewancio (Berlin): $705
Nicholas Franklin (Berlin): $425
Andrew Campbell (Salisbury): $175
Best Overall: Sandy Sanders – “Kim K Breaks the Internet”
Most Spirited: Timothy Yates – “Uncle Sam”
Most Creative: Derek Endlich, Chance Ebel – “Captain Planet & The Planeteers”
Best Little Penguin: Sienna & Keera Pierce, Mckenna Schlegel – “Snowy Owls”
Best Team/Group Costume: Michelle Black – “Team Happy Feet”
Oldest and Youngest Penguins
Bill Hunter (Ocean Pines), 90 Years, 6 Months, 20 Days
Kaden Stokes (Ocean City), 5 Months, 27 Days