HAMPTON —  For the first time in more than two decades, the water temperature at Hampton Beach for Penguin Plunge weekend was irrelevant. 

This year’s event to raise funds for Special Olympics New Hampshire (SONH) was a do it yourself plunge. Plungers were tasked with finding their own water source and location to plunge anytime between Feb. 3 and Feb. 7th. 

With a nod to Dr. Seuss, the theme was “Oh The Places We’ll Go,” owing to the fact that participants could take their plunge anywhere they wanted to as long as it was safe to do so. 

A total of 800 people participated in the 2021 Penguin Plunge, raising more than $389,000 for the athletes of SONH. 

“Our supporters are nothing short of amazing,” said SONH President and CEO Mary Conroy. “The dedication of our supporters is matched only by the resiliency of our athletes and we appreciate each and every one of them.” 

As in past years, “plungers” registered online and raised funds via their social media channels and the online platform. Unlike past years, there was no gathering at Hampton Beach. 

With a nod to Dr. Seuss, the theme was “Oh The Places We’ll Go,” owing to the fact that participants could take their plunge anywhere they wanted to as long as it was safe to do so.

Special Olympics New Hampshire delivered a “Plunge Pail” to participants. The pails were filled with incentive items, snacks and other items from sponsors, and drinks from presenting sponsor Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast. 

Participants were reminded to follow all local and state COVID-19 guidelines and to remain safe while plunging. 

“Several hundred new participants joined us this year,” said Conroy. “Allowing plungers to choose their own time and place has brought a whole new dimension to a 22-year tradition.”