Penguin Plungers raise thousands for Amelia Park Children’s Museum

Hampden County

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – For the 16th year in a row, brave souls took the Penguin Plunge into Westfield’s Hampton Ponds to benefit the Amelia Park Children’s Museum.

The 34 degree water temperature didn’t stop these Penguin Plungers from taking a bracing dip into the pond.

22News found out that for these participants, taking the plunge was very personal.

“Well the first year I jumped in, my grandfather passed away that morning, so every year I do this in memory of my grandfather,” James Dasilva of Ludlow told 22News.

“I just love being cold,” added Russell Linder of Agawam. “This year, I’ve got a baby on the way, so that’s why I plunge, I’m a first time dad.”

Through the efforts of Russell, James and the other plungers, the Amelia Park Children’s Museum raised $15,000.

Penguin Plunge organizer, Rick Barry told 22News, “It’s a wonderful community event, that brings everyone together and have some fun in the middle of winter, when there’s not a lot to do.”

For the first time since the event began, newly-elected Westfield Mayor Don Humason, didn’t participate in Saturday’s plunge. Participants are hoping the mayor rejoins them next year barring any other schedule conflicts.

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