DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

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January 30, 2014

Penguin Plunge participants to take icy dip

Residents hit the beach to support Special Olympics

Once again, brave souls will take to the waters at Hampton Beach this weekend to support New Hampshire Special Olympics.

The 15th annual Penguin Plunge is Feb. 2. Hundreds of Special Olympics supporters are expected to make the mad dash across the frozen sand to plunge into the icy waves to raise money and awareness. The annual event is also one of the “603 Reasons” why New Hampshire is special.

Participants will get support from family, friends, business associates and others to raise a minimum of $350 for the Penguin Plunge.

High school teams have their own Plunge on Feb. 1, also at Hampton Beach. High school students must raise an individual goal of $100.

This year’s Plunge theme is “Zombies.” High school participants will enjoy the theme “School Spirit.”

Derry Recreation’s Timberwolves Special Olympics team will have support from Nicole Ferrante.

Ferrante will be making her fifth frolic into the Atlantic to support the local team. She has seen firsthand how important the Special Olympics funding is as she has coached the local athletes for seven years.

The Timberwolves number anywhere from 30 to 40 adult athletes. They are now training for an annual winter competition that’s coming up at Waterville Valley.

Ferrante said she will head into the ocean this year accompanied by one of her Timberwolves athletes. Parent supporters also sign up to take the plunge.

She said dressing up as part of the annual Plunge theme is an added fun.

“I’m looking ahead,” she said. “I’ve already created a penguin costume and I now have to add my extra zombie creations.”

Linda Shumway of Derry will take her second plunge this weekend.

She said last year’s event was pretty cold, but the party atmosphere at the beach kept everyone going for the few minutes they were actually in the water.

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