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Berlin, Md. – It was a bright sunshiny New Year’s Day, and participants hardly even hesitated to jump into the 47-degree ocean for the 2020 Penguin Swim. Although it was held in the middle of the week, the event proved to be successful yet again, with the participation of more than 700 penguins.

“It was a warm and wonderful day to hold our 26th Annual Penguin Swim,” said Michael Franklin, president and CEO of Atlantic General Hospital, and also an annual participant. “It’s always great to join community members and visitors in supporting one of the most important assets in our community. The swim is a fun and unique way to kick off the New Year.”

Again this year Legacy Sponsor and Emperor Penguin team, Bull on the Beach, paraded down the beach with a giant penguin float that stood out amongst the crowd, stopping briefly for a wedding ceremony along the way. The newlyweds began married life with a splash as they joined the rest of the swimmers in the icy cold water.

The success of the event is due, in great part, to AGH Foundation’s staff, the Penguin Swim committee, and event co-chairs Michael Cylc and Phillip Cheung, who devoted a great deal of their time and energy leading up to New Year’s Day. The support of local residents and resort visitors Atlantic General Hospital serves, as well as the many AGH/HS associates and community volunteers played a large role in the event’s success.

Not all arrived as penguins; this year’s crowd was decked out in all kinds of costumes including the Saved by the Bell cast members, Frosty the Snowman and even a pair of flip flops!

The 2020 Penguin Swim has raised a preliminary gross amount of $89,063 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

Team – Business Category

  1. Bull on the Beach (Ocean City, Md.), $27,486*
  2. Carrabba’s West Ocean City (Ocean City, Md.) $1,165
  3. AGH’s Frosty Flip Flops (Berlin, Md.), $850

*The Bull on the Beach team has contributed nearly $630,000 to the AGH Penguin Swim since it started in 1995.

Team – Community Groups Category

  1. Ocean City Ravens Roost #44 (Ocean City, Md.), $14,757*
  2. HFY Swim Team (Salisbury, Md.), $725
  3. Ocean Pines Penguin Swim Team (Ocean Pines, Md.) $375

*The Ravens Roost team has contributed nearly $135,000 to the AGH Penguin Swim over the last 11 years.

Team – Youth/Family

  1. Zoo Crew (Breinigsville, Pa.), $1,975
  2. The Roarty Family (Churchville, Md.), $850
  3. Parker’s Home for Peculiar Children (Gaithersburg, Md.), $750

Individual - Adult

  1. Richard Moore (Glen Burnie, Md.), $625
  2. Robert LeCompte (Columbia, Md.), $575
  3. Arleen Dinneen (Ellicott City, Md.) $525

Individual – 18 & Under Division

  1. Max Ewancio, age 18 (Berlin, Md.), $825
  2. Nicholas Franklin, age 17 (Berlin, Md.), $450
  3. Dennis Tice, Jr. (Lusby, Md.), $275

Costume Contest

  • Best Little Penguin - “O’Sea Navy Sweeties” Sienna & Keera Pearce, McKenna Schlegel from It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere Team, Effort, Pa.
  • Best Overall Costume - “Frosty” Timothy Yates from Boonsboro, Md.
  • Most Spirited - “Blue Shark & Hula Girls” Emily Brozena, Kelli Brozena, Matthew Brozena, Lindsey Carter from Frosty Paws Team, Telford, Pa.
  • Most Creative - “Fun in the Sun” Peter Hesson, Lynn Ceritano, MacKenzie Callahan, Macklin Risch, Charles Bitler from Flip-N-Flop Team, Frankford, De.
  • Team/Group Costume - “Saved by the Bell” Chance Ebel and friends from Ocean City, Md.
  • Honorable Mention - “Missed Virginia Beach” Edward Geis from Eure, NC

Special Recognition Prizes were also awarded for:

  • Youngest Penguin: Sawyer Long (Berlin, Md.) 2 months and 8 days old
  • Oldest Penguin: Bill Hunter (Ocean Pines, Md.) 91 years, 6 months and 20 days young
  • Traveled the Furthest: Christina Fraschetti (Oceanside, Ca.)

Thank You to this year’s Event Sponsors:

“The Emperor Penguin” and Legacy Sponsor – Bull on the Beach/Crab Alley for 26 consecutive years as Title Sponsor

Glacier Sponsors –Atlantic General Hospital Auxiliary; D3; iHeart Media; Princess Royale Oceanfront Resort & Condominiums; SRS Group – Sentinel Robotic Solutions; WBOC and WRDE.

Iceberg Sponsors – Hardwire.

Igloo Sponsors – Carrabba’s Italian Grill OC; Chesapeake Employers Insurance Company; Chris Parypa Photography; ClearChannel Outdoor; Comcast; Erik Cantine Ice Sculpting; Karp, Wigodsky, Norwind, Kudel & Gold, P.A.; Ocean Downs Casino; OC Wasabi; The Shrimp Boat; Vector Media

Icicle Sponsors – Atlantic Dental Cosmetic & Family Dentistry; Coca-Cola Bottling Co. ; DJ Wax & DJ Wood; Fisher’s Popcorn of Delaware, Inc.; Gismondi Insurance Associates; Guerrieri Family Foundation; Hi Tide Dispensary; Jolly Roger Amusement Parks; La Quinta Inn and Suites; Long Life Treated Wood, Inc.; Nickle Electrical Companies; Red Sun Custom Apparel; The Kite Loft; Trond & Linda Emberland; Wilmington University

Snowflake Sponsors – Adkins Produce; Azul International Unlimited, Inc.; Celtic RnR Tours; CG Accounting Group, LLC; Coastal Tented Events; S. Michael Cylc; Dolle’s Candyland; Dr. Sally Dowling & Family; Hayman Creative Promotional Products Agency, Inc.; Ladies Auxiliary Ocean City Elks N. 2645; Lollipop & Co.; Mary Mac Foundation, Inc.; Matt Ort Companies; Max Hutsell / Edward Jones; Northrop Realty / Tom D’Ambrogi; O’Hare Team Real Estate BHHS – PenFed; Rosenfeld’s Jewish Delicatessen; Seacrets; Talbot Street Watersports; The Bonfire Restaurant; The Burbage Funeral Home; The Original Greene Turtle; The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art