NEWPORT, VT - Are you a Penguin Plunger? Do you dare to dive into the frigid waters of Lake Memphremagog in February? Are you the kind of person who finds roughing it - in a beat-your-chest, caveman kind of way - exhilarating? What are you doing Saturday?
With Lake Memphremagog's temperature hovering in the mid-30's (or lower), anticipation is building for the annual Penguin Plunge, Saturday, Feb. 11, at 1 PM at the Gateway Center in Newport.
In collaboration with Newport's Winter Festival, the event will feature more than 100 participants to raise funds and awareness for the 1,005 athletes involved in Special Olympics Vermont. The Penguin Plunge will kick off with a pre-Plunge party at the Eastside Restaurant and Pub on Friday, Feb. 10, from 5-8 PM.
This year, the event will feature its annual costume contest, prizes for the largest team and fundraiser, heating tents, and hundreds of spectators. The "Cool School Challenge" is new this year; it challenges local schools to bring the largest team to the Penguin Plunge. At the moment, the competition is fierce between Lake Region and North Country high schools. The series-wide fundraising goal is $425,000.
"We have set the bar really high this year to help finance our athlete growth and celebrate years of serving people with intellectual disabilities in Vermont" said Kim Bookless, Events Manager with Special Olympics Vermont. "You can still register yourself or create a team to participate this year. It makes a great team building exercise for companies and gives you a true appreciation of Vermont's beautiful winter weather."
To register, volunteer or find out more information about the Penguin Plunge, visit www.penguinplunge.org  or call 802-863-5222.