Record number of participants - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Record number of participants

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Every year, hundreds of Vermonters make their way to the Burlington Waterfront and brave the 32 degree waters of Lake Champlain.

CVU student Lauren Kelley said, "It was very short, even though I would not have wanted it to be any longer, it went by quickly."

"Definitely a lot of fun, colder than last year," said Chelsea Wessperg from the Burlington Rugby team.

52 teams dashed into the lake to show their support for 935 athletes who participate in Special Olympics Vermont.

Mayor Miro Weinberger addressed the crowd, "There are over 13 hundred of you who have signed up, which is a new record and already 400 thousand dollars have been raised, so congratulations to all of you for the work you've done."

The 19th Annual Penguin Plunge is dedicated to raising money that will help athletes year round through leadership and advocacy programs. Students from across the state also come together to show their support.

Special Olympics President Lisa DeNatale said, "We have our largest group here is from Champlain Valley Union High School, they raised over 42 thousand dollars have over 100 team plungers."

"We had to raise money for an organization that helps out all athletes in Vermont participate in different activities. It's great," said Wessperg.

A costume competition rounded out Saturday's event. Local food helped warm up the crowd. And for many of this year's plungers, the cold temps won't keep them from coming back next year.

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