Now that the holidays are past, it is time to look forward to new winter adventures and that includes the 6th Annual Penguin Plunge, scheduled for March 3 at Memorial Park in Nyack.
The Penguin Plunge is a tax deductible non profit that raises money for local children with medical needs while offering people the chance to truly take a jump in the river in the winter-a true bucket list experience to be enjoyed every year!
This year's recipients are Max and Bree Hershkowitz from New Hempstead, who are fraternal 9 year old twins who were born extremely premature. Because of being born at 26 weeks, both children suffer from a number of medical conditions.
Max had a stroke shortly after birth and a permanent shunt was placed in his brain. Max was subsequently diagnosed with cerbral palsy.
Bree had a complication that required the removal of most of her small intestine and she still needs ongoing treatment and surgeries.
Our other recipient is 4 year old Isabella Ruggiero from Harrington Park, NJ, ten minutes from the Rockland border. As an 18 month old baby, Isabella was diagnosed with a malignant tumor, a neuroblastoma. Even though the tumor was removed, Isabella still receives treatment and has developed an extremely rare condition called OMS, which will have a permanent effect on her development and requires specialists in Chicago to monitor her condition.
Unfortunately, this family of three little girls had another heartbreaking tragedy this past fall. Isabella's mother, 32 year old Wendy, had a pool accident and suffered a broken neck, which has left her paralyzed. These three children are delightful young people who radiate happiness and resiliency while they and their families confront the challenges.
The Penguin Plunge seeks to help them while celebrating the courage and dignity they demonstrate while meeting their medical challenges. The Penguin Plunge is a frosty festival of fun which runs from 12-2PM and the jump itself is closer to 1:45. We have music, food, clowns and entertainment.
The event is free though we strongly encourage donations! There will be raffle tickets and 50/50 tickets and lots of great people. The safety of our "penguins" is supported by our local fire departments, police, and emergency medical teams.
Our website is www.penguinplungeny.com (which might be running a little differently for the next few days because of the security issues with Java) but you can contact us at 917-846-6763 with any questions that you might have.
Come shiver in the river!