(Dec. 27, 2019) Hundreds of men, women and children will enter the ocean at 91st Street on New Year’s Day during Atlantic General Hospital’s 26th annual Penguin Swim.

Registration and check-in for the 2020 Penguin Swim will take place from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 1, at the Princess Royale Hotel on 91st Street, with the swim starting at 1 p.m. The cost is $25 per swimmer. All registered swimmers will receive an official 2020 Penguin Swim T-shirt.

“The Penguin Swim is a fun, annual event to support our not-for-profit community hospital,” Atlantic General Hospital Event Coordinator Joy Stokes said. “Each year, hundreds of penguins raise funds to help the hospital provide the excellent quality care our community depends on.”

Early registration and advance check-in will be available on Tuesday, Dec. 31, from 2-4 p.m. at the hotel.

swim

Atlantic General Hospital Foundation’s 26th annual Penguin Swim, held on New Year’s Day, Wednesday, Jan. 1.

The Princess Royale will also offer a number of activities including carnival games, girls dressed as mermaids in the heated pool, Sherman the Shorebird mascot, live entertainment, a selfie station and face painting on New Year’s Day. There will also be a Penguin Swim-themed ice carving on display.

In 2019, just under 400 swimmers and 40 teams participated, raising $92,242 for the hospital, Stokes said. In 25 years, the Penguin Swim has raised about $1.4 million for the hospital.

“Proceeds from the event, gathered through corporate sponsorships and participant fundraising, support the strategic plans undertaken by Atlantic General Hospital to uphold their mission to improve individual and community health,” Stokes said.

Swimmers will also have other incentives and each registered participant will receive an official 2020 Penguin Swim T-shirt. 

Penguins who raise anywhere from $50-$99 will have the choice of a Penguin Swim plush hat or stainless-steel thermal water bottle. Those who collect $100-$249 will take home an official Penguin Swim long-sleeve T-shirt or sweatshirt.

Swimmers who collect $250-$499 will be given a Penguin Swim beach towel, and anyone raising $500 or more will be able to choose one prize from each level, Stokes said.

The top-three donors from each category, which includes individuals and adults, teams, businesses, community groups, youth and family, and 18 and under, will be awarded trophies and prizes.

There will be costume contest prizes awarded and special recognition will be given to the oldest and youngest penguins.

Before swimmers take the plunge, the Bull on the Beach team will parade down the beach in honor of being “the Emperor Penguin.” The parade will begin at 12:45 p.m.

There are 53 sponsors for this year’s swim, with Bull on the Beach being the legacy sponsor; having participated every year since the swim’s inception.

“[Everyone] should be encouraged to participate for their community hospital. It’s a good way to ring in the new year with friends and family, old and young,” Stokes said. “I think it’s awesome for different businesses to be able to sponsor and there’s a lot of fun things to do.”

Organizers are always looking for sponsors and checks can be made out to the AGH Foundation and mailed to: 9733 Healthway Drive Berlin, Maryland 21811.

For more information on event sponsorship opportunities, call 410-641-9671 or email jstokes@atlanticgeneral.org.

To sign up for the 25th annual Penguin Swim or to make a donation, visit aghpenguinswim.org or text PENGUIN to 51555. The event can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/penguinswim or call the hospital foundation office with questions at 410-641-9671.

Proceeds from the event support strategic plans started by Atlantic General Hospital and back its mission to improve individual and community health.

The hospital has been providing health care to residents of Worcester, Wicomico and Somerset counties in Maryland as well as Sussex County, Delaware, since May 1993.

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