Special Olympics welcomes Plungers

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Special Olympics NH will welcome more than 1,200 people dressed in costumes Feb. 2-3, to plunge into the Atlantic Ocean at Hampton Beach to benefit athletes with intellectual disabilities. One of the largest events in New Hampshire, the Penguin Plunge and High School Plunge bring people together from across the state to have fun and raise money for Special Olympics. Activities are centered near the new pavilion on Hampton Beach, across rom the Hampton Beach Casino, where the party starts once the Plungers exit the water.

Before Plungers enter the water, there is a costume parade. The High School Plunge theme for 2013 is Greek Olympics and the Penguin Plunge is Goin’ to the Chapel. Plungers dress up and compete for prizes, and plunge individually or with a “flock” of their family, friends or neighbors. Following the Plunge, there is lunch, a live band and the awards presentations. Mike Haddad and Kevin Skarupa of the WMUR Weather Team will help host Plungers, and Mark Ericson and Karen Kiley from WOKQ’s Morning Waking Crew are your MCs. Special Olympics NH CEO Mary Conroy said the agency owes much to the media partners.

All proceeds directly benefit athletes in local programs around the state who practice and compete in 14 sports year-round. There are prizes for fundraising excellence as well and incentives at six levels, including gift cards for Applebee’s, Irving/Circle K and Walmart. Each High School Plunger must raise $175 and will receive a 2013 Plunge zip-up hoodie. Each Sunday Plunger must raise $350 and will receive a 2013 Plunge zip-up hoodie or fleece for participating. The Penguin Plunge weekend is the premier fundraiser for Special Olympics NH, having raised more than $500,000 in 2012. The organization works closely with public safety officials in the town and county to insure safety for all participants. Any high school student can plunge Saturday and anyone 15 years or older can plunge Sunday. Registration is available until Jan. 27 online, and then live in several locations the week before the event.

To register as a Plunger, or for more information, visit

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