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Swimmers Bare Frigid Temps for Penguin Plunge

Penguin PlungeWESTFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – It may have been 23 degrees out Saturday afternoon, but that didn’t stop swimmers in Westfield from plunging into the waters of Hampton Ponds. It was all in the name of charity.

For the ninth year, the Penguin Plunge was held at the Hampton Ponds State Park in Westfield to benefit the Amelia Park Children’s Museum.

The proceeds allow the facility to continue providing local families with educational entertainment and exhibits tailored for youngsters.

Children’s Museum Board of Directors member Diana L. McLean said it’s the biggest fundraising event of the year. And although the weather was exceptionally cold, McLean believes it resulted in an increase of swimmers willing to participate.

“There are people who think the colder the better,” she said. “They wear it as a badge of honor.”

A mandatory safety briefing was held at 12:45 p.m. for all swimmers. Plunging began at 1 p.m.

Last year’s Penguin Plunge featured one of New England’s milder winters with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-40s. According to McLean, it brought in a little more than $10,000.

This year, the fundraising goal was set at $40,000.

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