Berlin, Md. – With a forecast of freezing cold temperatures on New Years’ Day, AGH associates, volunteers, and participants were not sure what to expect for the 2018 Penguin Swim. However, the event proved to be successful yet again, with the participation of more than 400 penguins.
“This was by far the coldest weather in the 24-year history of our Annual Penguin Swim,” said Michael Franklin, president and CEO of Atlantic General Hospital, and also an annual participant. “It’s a great event that brings together our community and visitors to have fun doing something a little silly and unique, as well as help one of the most important assets in our community.”
With a temperature below freezing and a wind-chill that made it feel as though it was six degrees on the beach, unique is definitely one way to describe this year’s swim.
The success of the event is due, in great part, to Penguin Swim co-chairs Michael Cylc and Phillip Cheung, who devoted a great deal of their time and energy leading up to New Year’s Day. The support of the communities and resort visitors Atlantic General Hospital serves, as well as the many volunteers and AGH/HS associates, also played a large role in the event’s success, despite the frigid temperatures.
This year’s crowd not only braved the cold, but did it decked out in costumes as though it were a 70-degree, summer day. Not all arrived as penguins; an octopus, an assortment of superheroes, mermaids, Fred Flintstone, and many others were also present.
The 2018 Penguin Swim has raised a gross amount of $98,000 for the not-for-profit hospital, but that number may increase as final donations make their way to the AGH Foundation. Additionally, more than $20,000 worth of in-kind goods and services contributed to the event’s success.
The notables from the event:
Team – Business Category
- Bull on the Beach (Ocean City, Md.), $35,000*
- AGH Poppin’ Penguins (Berlin, Md.), $3,080
- Blazing Suns (Ocean City, Md.), $1,000
*The Bull on the Beach team has contributed more than $500,000 to the AGH Penguin Swim since it started in 1994.
Team – Community Groups Category
- Ocean City Ravens Roost #44 (Ocean City, Md.), $13,602*
- It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere (Port Jefferson, Ny.), $1,765
- O’Jettskis (Ocean City, Md.), $275
*The Ravens Roost team has contributed more than $95,000 to the AGH Penguin Swim over the last ten years.
Team – Youth/Family
- Psychedelic Penguins (Ocean City, Md.), $900
- Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins (Jersey City, Nj.), $675
- Team Cylc (Snow Hill, Md.), $315
Individual – Adult
- Craig Kettler (Leesburg, Va.), $3,825*
- Arleen Dinneen (Ellicott City, Md.), $815
- Samantha Ewancio (Berlin, Md.), $625
*Craig Kettler and family have contributed more than $35,000 to the AGH Penguin Swim since 2010.
Individual – 18 & Under Division
- Max Ewancio, (Berlin, Md.), $725
- Ben Kettler, (Leesburg, Va.), $500
- TIE: Nicholas Gordon (Berlin, Md.), $100 & Leila Attia (Fallston, MD), $100
- Best Overall Costume – “Rub-A-Dub-Dub-A-Man-In-A-Tub” Mike Schlegel from It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere, Breinigsville, Pa.
- Most Spirited – “Pittsburgh Penguin Bobble head” Lance Bucheit from Hileman Ice Penguins, Bishopville, Md.
- Most Creative – “Octopus,” Debbie Murosky, Pittson, Pa.
- Best Little Penguin – “Army Sergeant,” Tristan Lorditch, Lancaster, Pa.
- Team/Group Costume – “Candy Kitchen Girls” McKenna, Sienna & Keera from It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere, Breinigsville, Pa.
Prizes were also awarded for the youngest and oldest swimmers:
- Youngest Penguin: Grant Kesler (Vienna, Va.) (4 years, 11 months and 3 days old)
- Oldest Penguin: Paul Neal (Selbyville, De.) (76 years and 2 days young)
Special thanks to the AGH Penguin Swim sponsors, including Bull on the Beach/Crab Alley, WBOC, Above Aerial, AGH Auxiliary, D3, Princess Royale, Hardwire LLC, WRDE TV, Blue Water Development Corp., ACE Printing & Mailing, Chris Parypa Photography, Direct Media USA, Clear Channel Outdoor, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company, OC Wasabi, Dough Roller Restaurants, Trond’s Pool Care, Erik Cantine, Earl Cantine, Ocean Downs Casino, Fisher’s Popcorn of Delaware, The Kite Loft, The Original Greene Turtle, La Quinta Inn & Suites, Red Sun Custom Apparel, Delmarva Media Group, Wilmington University, Coffee Beanery 94th Street Ocean City, The Bank of Delmarva, Guerrieri Family Foundation, Delmarva Collections, Atlantic/Smith, Cropper & Deeley, Atlantic Dental Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, Gismondi Insurance Associates, Jolly Roger Amusement Park, Sportland, Funcade, OC Seacrets, Canvas Experts, Inc., Island Creamery Berlin, The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Dolle’s Candyland, Ocean City Elks Lodge #2645 Ladies Auxiliary, Rosenfeld’s Jewish Delicatessen, Planet Maze & Lasertron, Old Pro Golf, Coastal Tented Events, Impact Home Technology, The Bonfire Restaurant, Lollipop and Company, Long & Foster – Tom D’Ambrogi, and Edward Jones – Max Hutsell.