More than 700 people gathered at Atlantic Beach on New Year’s Day for the 16th annual Penguin Plunge.
Or, as participant Ellie White described it: “So there’s people who are very crazy that are going in the water.”
Miriam Sutton, the Co-Founder of the Penguin Plunge, says the event originally began with a group of 25 friends who wanted to memorialize their friend who has passed.
Over time they realized more and more people wanted to join in on the fun, so they decided to turn it into a charity event.
“We were afraid being on a Tuesday, we wouldn’t have as much participation,” Sutton said.
But that wasn’t the case at all. This year’s Penguin Plunge raised over $7,000. Jim Knight with the board of directors for the Mile of Hope says the funds will go a long way for them.
“When we bring 25-30 families down, we bring them from Eastern Carolina, from Duke, there are a lot of expenses involved in putting that on, so having a fundraiser like this is just tremendous for us,” Knight said.
And for the participants, it’s a great way to start a fresh new year.