Penguin Plungers awarded, event raises $38,000 for Special Olympics of Connecticut
By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Fri., Apr. 26, 2013
Local individuals and organizations have established a cool tradition to benefit the Special Olympics of Connecticut. The Penguin Plunge asks participants to earn a minimum of $75 for the right to plunge into Ellington's Crystal Lake in the winter. This year's event took place Saturday, March 23.
“It was about 35 degrees out, and about 35 mile-per-hour wind. The water was about 35 degrees, there was still ice on Crystal Lake,” said Mayor Thomas Delnicki, who made the plunge with the Penguin Wannabees team of South Windsor. “It was so cold that the winners of the various awards never got their plaques, because there weren't enough ambulances for the hypothermia cases,” he quipped. The South Windsor Town Council hosted an award ceremony at the town hall on Monday, April 22.
Eastern Regional Director of the Special Olympics Connecticut Marc Mercadante distributed the certificates to the top participants. Among the nine categories of recognition, three were claimed by South Windsor. The Arctic Hero Award, given to the public safety organization to raise the most funds, went to the South Windsor Police Department. The certificate was received by Agent Ronald Littell, who has organized the event since 2007. The Top Web Surfer Award, given to the fundraiser who earned the most money online, was given to Roseanne Sapula of the Penguin Wannabees of South Windsor. Sapula scored another honor for her team, earning the coveted Emperor Award as the top individual fundraiser. Sapula surpassed her $3,000 goal with a total amount of $4,814 raised.
Bruce Maneeley of Maneeley's Banquet Hall & Catering also received a business participation certificate for donating breakfast at the event.
This year's event raised more than $38,000.
“The plunges throughout the state are such a great way to bring awareness to our Special Olympics of Connecticut,” said Sapula. “ It is also great knowing that all those involved, from behind the scenes, setup crews, organizers, solicitors, donors, sponsors, are appreciated for making it all happen.”