Wilton girls ‘plunge’ for Special Olympics

A team of girls from Wilton made their way to Danbury for the annual Penguin Plunge on March 23. The girls, who named themselves “Warriors” after the Wilton High School mascot, raised over $3,000 for the Special Olympics.

The Penguin Plunge is a family event that combines fun with charity. The main event is the jump into Candlewood Lake by people, some of whom jump in costume. Every year the Plunge raises money to help Connecticut athletes reach their goal of participating in the national trials for the Special Olympics.

The Candlewood Lake plunge was just one of several around Connecticut between December and March, according to the Special Olympics of Connecticut website. The site says those making the plunge “solicit donations from family, friends and local businesses in order to take the plunge. Incentive prizes for money raised and individual and group awards are given in a number of different categories.”

A disc jockey announced the plungers’ names as they ran through the crowd to the moment of making the leap into the cold waters, said to be 42 degrees. On the shore, spectators including family members and interested onlookers cheered.

Hot chocolate awaited the chilly plungers.

“I’m not cold,” said team member Campbell Gulbin after her plunge. “I’m just really awake.”