THE ISSUE: Weather twice delays the Penguin Plunge
OUR VIEW: This Saturday should finally be the day
Given the severity of the snowfall at the end of last week, postponing the Penguin Plunge for a week turned out to be a very good judgment call.
The plunge raises money for Make-A-Wish, the organization that grants wishes to kids with life-threatening medical conditions.
It was the second time the event was postponed. In January the concern was bitter cold.
Last week, the practical concerns were the danger of people driving to Heritage Harbor, not to mention the lack of parking when they got there.
“We don’t want to put people’s lives in jeopardy trying to get to the event,” said event co-leader Linda Johnson.
There also was the very real possibility the protective tent scheduled to be erected Thursday morning might collapse under the weight of accumulated snow unless the temperature inside was kept hot enough to melt the falling flakes — an expensive undertaking.
The decision made people who can’t attend this weekend unhappy.
“Some of my true blue volunteers can’t make it,” Johnson said. But date change worked for those unable to attend last week, but able this Saturday, she noted.
Anyway, as Johnson put it, “It’s finally plunge week.”
The weather should be acceptable, and with all the extra time, preparations are pretty well set.
Volunteers are still needed between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. to act as greeters, security and team liaisons.
“They’re easy tasks,” Johnson said.
People able to fill those roles should contact volunteer coordinator Kelly Pandolfi at 815-488-3056 or Kathryn Duque at 815-690-1123.
For the general public, noon is the time to begin arriving. The band Crash takes the stage and the Red Dog Grill will start serving refreshments. Pizza will be served by Rosati’s restaurant in Ottawa, with half of the proceeds benefiting Make-A-Wish.
Ceremonies will start at 2 p.m. and the first plunge is set for approximately 2:25 p.m.
For those itching to plunge, preregistration remains open. To preregister visit penguinplunge.webconnex.com/2018.
Our fingers are crossed that conditions — and of course, our amazing community spirit — will finally allow the plunge to happen with even better success than previous years.
“They say the third time is a charm,” Johnson said.
Here’s hoping that’s right.