Taking the plunge


I’m not one for cold weather. But, if I’m being honest, I really hate the heat.

I should probably live in San Diego where it’s around 70-degrees year-round. But alas, I am a New Englander at heart. Well, at least until retirement, and even then I will not be heading to Florida or Arizona like many retirees. I’ve been to Arizona in July and “dry heat” or not, when it’s over 100-degrees it is scorching.

If I had to choose, I’d take a bit of a chill over blazing sun, unless I can be at the beach all day. But being outdoors in the cold isn’t for me. I have never skied, only ice skated a few times and other than sledding as a child, my favorite winter sport is watching The Patriots on TV from the comfort of my couch.

So, to me, wading into freezing cold icy water on purpose is just not on my agenda. However, the Penguin Plunge could entice me one of these years. The annual event is a fundraiser for Amelia Park Children’s Museum. If you’re not familiar with it, participants raise a minimum of $75 and then willingly walk the “runway” on the shores of Hampton Ponds straight into the water. In January.

I repeat . . . in January.

I admire these brave souls. I am happy to make a donation, but purposely jumping into the water? Well, maybe. After all, it IS a good cause.

When my children were younger, we visited the museum. The rocket launcher and Starfire plane were favorite attractions for them. They enjoyed the play kitchen and Owl’s Nest broadcast station. We would visit when there was a special guest speaker and my kids especially enjoyed the musical instruments.

Today, their interests are more mature, but they have fond memories of the museum, which can be a lifesaver for families. In the cold winter months, the museum is particularly helpful in allowing children to get their energy out when it’s too cold to play outdoors. And when they need a break, they can settle into the reading nook with a book for some quiet time.

The Amelia Park Children’s Museum is a very worthy cause to donate your money – and time as a volunteer – and yes, even to walk through ice-cold water in January.

My favorite part of being a Plunge spectator is seeing the costumes. The event usually has a theme, and some participants go all out. From “penguins” wearing head-to-toe red, white and blue, to those wearing tutus or dressed as snowmen, and even full camouflage suits, the costumes make the event fun. And from what I’ve heard, jumping in isn’t the hard part, it’s exiting the water when the cold air hits you, but there is a warming area to combat that. And as reporter Peter Currier’s story in today’s paper states, no one has ever been treated for ailments related to the cold.

So maybe I’ll think about plunging this year. But if not, know that I do support the museum and will cheer on all you courageous winter lovers. This year’s Penguin Plunge is Jan. 25 and more information is available on the museum website.

Will you be taking the Plunge? Let us know how to donate – write a Letter to the Editor to [email protected].




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