TIVERTON — An air gun will blast at noon on Wednesday, New Year’s Day, at Grinnell’s Beach in Tiverton to mark the beginning of the third annual Penguin Plunge sponsored by the Tiverton Yacht Club (TYC).
Recently retired TYC Commodore Greg Jones (his term ended last month) will lead the charge into the frigid waters.
It’s a fundraiser for the new Tiverton library.
“Spectators are always welcome to come down and watch the foolishness,” said newly installed Yacht Club Commodore Stephen Hughes.
He plans to man one of the tables set up on the beach, as he did last year, where donation buckets, hot coffee and hot chocolate will be available.
Last year, spectators (about 200) outnumbered plungers (about 50). Dogs are also welcome. There was a golden retriever on hand last year, Mr. Hughes said.
“We’re doing it because the Tiverton Yacht Club tries to be civic minded. We think it’s a great cause. Every penny that’s collected will go to the library,” he said.
In 2012, the first year of the plunge, Mr. Hughes said the group raised $1,000 for the library. In 2013, the amount raised rose to $1,500. “We’d like to double that this year,” Mr. Hughes said. Most people save up a little money for the occasion, he said.
“We take pledges ahead of time,” he said. “Anything, a dollar for every degree of temperature, or swimmers can collect pledges in advance.”
The event doesn’t last long — “Plungers were basically in and out,” Mr. Jones said about last year’s event.
“This has been a very nice effort for the library,” said Leon Hoyer, trustee of the Tiverton Library and chairman of its building committee.”We appreciate what they’ve done in the past and we are looking forward to this year’s plunge.”
Dr. Hoyer said he hopes all library supporters “will join in this year’s effort.”