OCEAN CITY – More than 500 Penguin Swim participants took a dip in the Atlantic Ocean last week to raise funds for Atlantic General Hospital.
On New Year’s Day, 519 participants – sporting costumes and bathing suits – took the plunge into the chilling waters off Ocean City for the 27th Annual Penguin Swim.
Organizers this year recorded a water temperature of 47 degrees and a wind chill of 43 degrees for the 2021 Penguin Swim. But that didn’t stop people from supporting the hospital’s fundraising efforts.
“Penguin Swim is one of our largest fundraisers in support of Atlantic General Hospital’s mission to provide a coordinated care system with access to quality care, personalized service and education to create a healthy community,” said Event Coordinator Joy Stokes. “All proceeds benefit Atlantic General Hospital Foundation.”
This year, the hospital grossed $72,480 for community health care services. And while the event featured several changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Penguin Swim Co-Chair Michael Cylc recognized participants, event organizers and partnering agencies for making the fundraiser a success.
“Given all the challenges that we faced I believe we did it in a responsible manner by minimizing contact, mask only and spreading out to socially distance,” he said. “Thank you to the Town of Ocean City and the Ocean City Beach Patrol and first responders, dive team for their efforts leading up and on New Year’s Day. Thank you to all the health care heroes working every day to keep our community safe. We are very humbled by the outpouring of participants both in person and virtually, individual and team fundraising efforts and donations.”
Since its inception, the Penguin Swim has grossed $1.5 million. The yearly event has also become a tradition for hundreds of residents and visitors and many local businesses and community groups.
Legacy Sponsor Bull on the Beach, for example, has contributed nearly $642,000 to the Penguin Swim since 1995, and Ocean City Ravens Roost #44 has contributed nearly $143,000 to the Penguin Swim over the last 12 years.
Cylc said the hospital will continue to accept donations through the Penguin Swim website, aghpenguinswim.org.
“If you wish to still donate, our website is open,” he said, “and we realize this is a challenging time for everyone, so we greatly appreciate any and all donations moving forward.”
Penguin Swim winners listed in order of award sequence are as followed:
Team Jedi (Denver, Pa.): $1,895
Zoo Crew (Breinigsville, Pa.): $1,450
The Brrrrrrr’ng Kirbys (Berlin): $725
Ocean City Ravens Roost #44 (Ocean Pines): $8,025
OPST Hammerheads (Ocean Pines): $595
The Atlantic Club (Ocean City): $325
Bull on the Beach (Ocean City): $12,000
Team Royale (Ocean City): $1,625
AGH’s Frosty Flip Flops (Berlin): $325
Janice McAleer (Hampstead, Md.): $1,250
Michael Nelson (Rosedale, Md.): $1,200
Max Ewancio (Berlin): $1,025
Dennis Tice, Jr. (Lusby, Md.): $450
Ty Barnes (Owings Mills): $150
Drayce King (Leonardtown, Md.): $125
Celebrity Challenge Individuals
Annette Wallace (Snow Hill): $1,250
Matthew Morris (North East, Md.): $400
Meredith Mears (Salisbury): $325
Celebrity Challenge Teams
Licensed to Chill (Ocean City): $2,850
Glen Riddle Golf Club (Berlin): $2,625
Ocean City Golf Club (Berlin): $275
Special Recognition Prizes
Youngest Penguin: Kaden Stokes (Ocean City), 2 Years, 5 Months, 27 Days
Oldest Penguin: William Hunter (Ocean Pines), 92 Years, 6 Months, 20 Days