New Hampshire Littleton Police Department participated in the annual “Penguin Plunge” event, braving icy cold waters to raise money for the New Hampshire Special Olympics.
This year, the department decided to take a dip in the freezing water of Partridge Lake, and raised over $2,300 for the cause according to Littleton Police’s Facebook page. The money will go to supporting year-round athletic training and competition for people with disabilities.
In previous years, the department participated in an annual torch run, but it could not be held this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, so they decided to do a penguin plunge instead.
They had initially planned to livestream the event, but couldn’t due to connection issues, instead opting to post photos and videos on Facebook.
From their Facebook page, videos and text reveal team members taking turns splashing into the icy water, some of whom are dressed in silly costumes. Captain James Gardiner, for example, dressed in a Cat in the Hat suit in line with the Dr. Seuss theme.
Participants in the Penguin Plunge included members of Littleton Police Department, NH State Police, Grafton County Sheriff’s Department, Grafton County House of Corrections and Berlin Police Department. In addition, members of the Littleton Fire Department were present to assist with personal safety.
In an article in the Littleton Courier, Gardiner reflected on the negative impact COVID-19 has had on the Special Olympics: “It’s been a tough year for Special Olympics. They were low on funds and had to cancel all of the events they normally do, but the athletes still need our support.”
So far, law enforcement agencies across the state have raised nearly $70,000 through local dips and plunges.