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Penguin Plunge, Again!

by Barbara Noyes
Sunday is your chance to SPRING FORWARD into the Hudson and do something nice for two kids in need. The Penguin Plunge celebrates its 11th year on the 11th day of March with a frozen affair and fundraiser for two local kids with serious illnesses.
On Sun March 11 from 12n-2p, more than 100 pre-registered hearty Hudson Valley residents plan to plunge into the icy waters of the river to better the lives of two area children.
Sebastian Scully is a lively seven-year-old from Valley Cottage who was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis, a rare chronic allergic reaction inflammatory disease that at this time has no cure. Sebastian must endure different methods of treatment daily to relieve the pain and symptoms, including specialized nutrients and medications. Despite all this, Sebastian doesn’t complain and is a happy student at Valley Cottage Elementary. He would like to be a fireman like his dad when he grows up.
Four-year-old Elle Fishman is from Piermont. Elle was born with Cerebellar Hypoplasia, an underdeveloped cerebellum. This causes severe delays in developing speech, learning to walk and balancing herself. Therefore, Elle cannot yet talk, stand or walk on her own. Yet, she is a very smart, strong and brave girl who wants to be independent and just like her friends. She doesn’t get discouraged and always tries to do the most that she can do.
“The Plunge” itself will occur at 1:30, with hundreds of spectators cheering on the daring participants. It’s expected that as many as 200 plungers may tempt the icy winter waters in Memorial Park during the 2018 event. Anyone who would like to help the cause but is weary of peeling off their clothes and jumping into Arctic waters can come just stop by to root for the plungers, participate in raffles, grab a bite to eat. There will be trophies awarded for the largest group, the best individual costume and the best group costume.
As a tax deductible 501c3 charity, the Penguin Plunge holds multiple events throughout the year to help support local families that have children with serious medical needs. The Plunge is the most widely-attended of these events and provides a large portion of the charity’s donations.
The Plunge is free, but a $20 donation is suggested and includes a commemorative T-shirt.

South Nyack-Grand View Police Officer Barbara Noyes and Pearl River resident Mike Lynch created the Nyack Penguin Plunge. The organization has raised more than $350,000 over the past ten years. For more information, visit Donations can also be made by sending a check payable to the Penguin Plunge, Inc., to Penguin Plunge Inc., 150 Hoover St., Blauvelt, N.Y. 10913. You can also reach Barbara at 917-846-6763 or email her at

Nyack People & Places, a weekly series that features photos and profiles of citizens and scenes near Nyack, NY, is sponsored by Sun River Health.

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