Monday, March 20, 2023


Westport Penguin Plunge Raises $80,000 for Special Olympics

Last weekend’s “Penguin Plunge” at Westport’s Compo Beach raised $80,000 to benefit Special Olympics athletes with intellectual disabilities in Fairfield and New Haven counties, organizers said today.plunge03110501260.jpg
Flashback: Last weekend’s “Penguin Plunge.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE Contributed photo

With the air and water temperature in the mid-30s, 230 participants ranging in age from 8 to 80 plunged into Long Island Sound in the event hosted by the Southwest Region of Special Olympics Connecticut.

Special awards were presented to plunge participants. The Emperor Club Award for the group or organization raising the most money went to Northwestern Mutual Financial Network for its sponsorship contribution of $7,500, plus $9,000 raised by employees.

The Arctic Hero Award for the public safety department which raised the largest amount of money went to the Westport Police Department for raising more than $2,700, organizers said.

The Rockin Schoolhouse Award for the school team or club which raises the most money went to New Canaan High School for raising more than $7,000;

The Silver Penguin Award for the oldest participant went to David Lindsey from Bridgeport. David is 77 years old.

The Rock Hopper Penguin Award for the most creatively dressed Penguin went to James Lyons of Shelton, dressed in a grass skirt.

The Emperor Penguin Award for the participant who raises the most money went to David Dennin of Trumbull, who raised $6,300. Dennin also won the Convio Award as the person who raised the most money online.

Special Olympics athletes who took the plunge included Dennin, who participates in power lifting, golf and aquatics; Alison Smith of Shelton, who participates in track, field, figure skating and bowling, and Danielle Bruno of Westport, who competes in aquatics.

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