Ice Day for a Swim

Plunging for Special Olympics Vermont.

Norwich Penguin Plunge 2014

(Photo by Mark Collier, 2014.) 

In 1996 a few hardy souls jumped into Lake Champlain during the city of Burlington’s Winter Carnival, raising more than $8,000 for Special Olympics Vermont. The initial fundraising efforts exceeded expectations, and the following year $27,000 was raised at the second annual Burlington Penguin Plunge. This year’s dip into the frigid waters marked the 20th running of the event, which drew 1,200 participants, among them school groups, sports teams, businesses, families, law enforcement—and Norwich cadets.

All told, the Norwich contingent numbered 90, and was the final group to brave the icy waters. As they do every year, Norwich students also volunteered to help run the event, which raises approximately $400,000 of the organization’s annual budget of $1 million. Norwich University supports Special Olympics athletes year-round, hosting Unified soccer and basketball tournaments in addition to participating in the annual plunge. For a video of this year’s event, visit

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