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Berlin, Md. – With 2015 just hours behind them, more than 1,000 revelers donned their penguin gear and ran into the Atlantic Ocean at 91st Street in Ocean City for the AGH Penguin Swim. The turnout for the 22nd annual New Year’s Day event was fantastic, far surpassing previous attendance numbers.

“This was the largest crowd I’ve ever seen for the Penguin Swim,” said Michael Franklin, president and CEO of Atlantic General Hospital, and also an annual participant. “It’s a great event to bring our community and visitors together to have a lot of fun doing something a little crazy, and at the same time help one of the most important assets in our community.”

The success of the event is due, in great part, to Penguin Swim co-chairs Sal Fasano and Madalaine How as well as the support of the communities and resort visitors Atlantic General Hospital serves.

The record-breaking crowd arrived decked-out for the event, if not as penguins then as Minions, mermaids, bananas, characters from the hit 80s movie, “The Goonies,” and more.

At last tally, the 2016 Swim has raised $104,000 for the not-for-profit hospital, but that number may increase as final donations make their way to the AGH Foundation.

The notables from the event:

Top Fundraisers


  1. Craig Kettler (Leesburg, Va.), $3,510
  2. Butch “Woody” German (Baltimore, Md.), $1,837
  3. Gary Miller(Berlin, Md.), $1,150

Team – Business Category

  1. Bull on the Beach (Ocean City, Md.), $28,000*
  2. AGH Poppin’ Penguins (Berlin, Md.), $4,000
  3. Fisher’s Popcorn (Ocean City, Md.), $1,000

*The Bull on the Beach team has contributed more than $400,000 to the AGH Penguin Swim since it started.

Team – Community Groups Category

  1. Ocean City Ravens Roost #44 (Ocean City, Md.), $12,350
  2. The Parke at Ocean Pines (Ocean Pines, Md.), $4,550
  3. The Jamboys (Baltimore, Md.), $2,160

Individual – 18 & Under Division

  1. Benjamin Kettler, age 16 (Leesburg, Va.), $525
  2. Lilliana Franklin, age 18 (Berlin, Md.), $500
  3. Nicholas Franklin, age 13 (Berlin, Md.), $500

Team - 18 & Under Division

  1. Stephen Decatur High School (Berlin, Md.), $705
  2. 2 Beach Cuties (Reisterstown, Md.), $265
  3. Team Ty (Reisterstown, Md.), $240

Prizes were also awarded for the youngest and oldest swimmers and winners of the costume contest.

  • Youngest Penguin: Vincent Fasano (Ocean City, Md.) (3 months and 20 days old)
  • Oldest Penguin: Papa Joe Gaffney (Selbyville, De.) (82 years and 10 months young)

Costume Contest

  • Best Overall Costume - “The Goonies” led by JJ Roth, Ocean City, Md.
  • Most Spirited - Tom Maly, Addie Aker & Maggie Miller from Ravens Roost 44, Ocean City, Md.
  • Most Creative - “Pirates Rule” from Bethany Vikings, Selbyville, Del.
  • Best Little Penguin - “3 Little Mermaids” from It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere, McKenna, Sienna & Keera, Effort, Pa.

Special thanks to the AGH Penguin Swim sponsors, including WBOC-TV 16, Jolly Roger Amusement Parks, AGH Auxiliary, D3Corp, Bull on the Beach, Princess Royale, Trond’s Pool Care, Clear Channel Outdoor, Casino at Ocean Downs, Bluewater Development, OC Wasabi, Comcast Spotlight, Chris Parypa Photography and Direct Media USA.

About Atlantic General Hospital

Atlantic General Hospital has been providing quality health care to the residents of Worcester, Wicomico, Somerset (Md.) and Sussex (Del.) counties since May 1993. Built by the commitment and generosity of a dedicated community, the hospital’s state-of-the-art facility in Berlin, Md., combines old-fashioned personal attention with the latest in technology and services. It provides quality specialty care such as weight loss surgery, orthopedics, outpatient infusion for individuals with cancer or blood/autoimmune disorders, retina surgery and a comprehensive women’s diagnostic center. Atlantic General Health System, its network of more than 40 primary care providers and specialists, care for residents and visitors throughout the region. For more information about Atlantic General Hospital, visit