Pennsylvania Penguin Plunge

Harrisburg, Pa. – On New Year’s Day, penguin plungers were anxious to take the plunge for a good cause. While many stayed bundled up until the last possible second, Justin Zimmerman went shirtless and shoeless long before he had to.
“I’m prepared. Now, it won’t be as much of a shock when I jump in the water, it’ll be just more fun,” Justin Zimmerman of Mechanicsburg said.

The only way to get through it, Justin said, is to think warm thoughts.
“Warm, tropical sunny beach,” Zimmerman said.

The penguin plunge is an annual tradition for the Humane Society of Harrisburg. The goal is to raise money for homeless pets. Hundreds sign up and many come dressed in costumes. Emergency responders are also on hand. The Harrisburg River Rescue was in the water to make sure swimmers are okay once they take the plunge.

“It was cold, my feet are already cold, but besides that, it’s kind of like, you got to run in there, you can’t walk in there or else you get scared and you get out,” Jarrett Feaser of Lebanon said.

Wanda Kramer of Mount Joy came out to support her cousin and son, but she did not test the waters.
“I just looked at him and my son and I said, they really are crazy,” Kramer said.
Last year, the Humane Society of Harrisburg raised about $16,000 dollars. This year, a spokesperson said she believes they may have reached their goal of $20,000. Harrisburg River Rescue said the Susquehanna River was about 28 degrees Friday.

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