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28th Annual Penguin Swim: Leaving 2021 in Our Wake

28th Annual Penguin Swim: Leaving 2021 in Our Wake

On January 1, 2022, hundreds of locals and travelers alike gathered on the beach to take part in the long-standing Eastern Shore tradition: the Atlantic General Hospital Penguin Swim. Participants were excited to ring in the New Year by courageously dashing into the freezing Atlantic Ocean in support of the local not-for-profit hospital and health system.

Prior to the chilly swim, participants took shelter at the Princess Royale Oceanfront Hotel to celebrate with friends and acquaintances, all while avoiding scattered rainstorms and cold ocean winds. Families, couples and individuals – many dressed in costume, began to fill the atrium and surrounding areas as they anxiously awaited the 1 o’clock swim time.

Minutes before the swim, participants lined up on the beach while Bull on the Beach, the Penguin Swim’s 28-consecutive-year Legacy Sponsor, paraded toward the water. As the clock struck 1p.m., all the participants stormed into the ocean as spectators gleefully cheered them on.

The cold, damp swimmers regrouped at the Princess Royale to warm up and take part in the award ceremony. Prizes and trophies were awarded to individuals and teams based on various categories such as youngest penguin, oldest penguin, best costumes and top fundraisers.

This year’s Penguin Swim had 876 participants and raised more than $103,000 - the most in five years! Additional donations can still be made online at

“The support we received from those in our community and visitors is truly heartwarming,” said annual participant Sally Dowling, M.D., co-interim president/CEO of Atlantic General Hospital. “We are so grateful for the opportunity to come together to wash away the hardships of the previous year, and embrace 2022 with a sense of positivity, compassion and hope.”

This outstanding outcome can be credited to the AGH Foundation staff, the Penguin Swim Committee, event co-chairs Ryan Kirby and Michael Cylc and the unwavering support of the local residents and visitors that Atlantic General serves.


Legacy Sponsor and Emperor Penguin: Bull on the Beach / Crab Alley

Glacier Sponsors: AGH Auxiliary; D3; The Dispatch; Princess Royale Oceanfront Resort; SRS Group; WRDE Coast TV

Iceberg Sponsors: AGH Medical Staff; Clear Channel Outdoor; Coca-Cola Consolidated; Effectv; Hardwire; iHeartMedia

Igloo Sponsors: Dodson A/C, Heating & Plumbing; Kirby's Pub; Ocean City Elks Lodge #2645; Right Choice DJs; The Dispatch; The Sandbar; The Shrimp Boat

Icicle Sponsors: Ameriprise Financial - Christopher Hoen; Atlantic Dental Cosmetic & Family Dentistry; CG Accounting Group; Mark & Kathy Drew; Farmers Bank of Willards; Fisher's Popcorn of Delaware; Guerrieri Family Foundation; Harrison Group; Hi Tide Dispensary; The Kite Loft; La Quinta Inn & Suites; Long Life Treated Wood; Marshall Hotels & Resorts; Nickle Electrical Companies; North Beach Realtors; Ocean Pines Association; Park Place Jewelers; Red Sun Custom Apparel; Sun Communities; The Original Greene Turtle; Wilmington University; Worcester County Tourism

Snowflake Sponsors: Mr. & Mrs. Randy Lee Ashcraft; Berlin Boot Camp; The Bonfire Restaurant; Voncelia and Charles Brown; Burley Oak Brewing; Casita Linda; Coastal Tented Events; Jolly Roger Amusement Park; Mermaid Tasha LLC; Nick's Mini Golf; Northrop Realty - Tom D'Ambrogi; O.C. Seacrets; Ocean City Elks Lodge #2645 Ladies Auxiliary; Ocean 13; O'Hare Team Real Estate; Old Dominion Investment Corp. - Max Hutsell; Prosperity Home Mortgage - Stew D'Ambrogi; Talbot Street Watersports; Unstoppable Joy Co.; Whisker's Pub


Individual Youth 18 & Under

  1. Dennis Tice, Jr., age 17 - $275 - Lusby, MD
  2. Leila Attia, age 13 - $125 - Fallston, MD
  3. Joel Smith, age 13 - $75 - Elkridge, MD

Individual Adult

  1. James King - $1,330 - Selbyville, DE
  2. Michael Nelson - $1,285 - Rosedale, MD
  3. Ellen Waters - $1,025 - Ocean City, MD

Individual Celebrity Challenge

  1. Michael Boyle - $100 - Ocean Pines, MD

Youth/Family Team

  1. “Believe” - $2,295 - Denver, PA
  2. Zoo Crew - $2,100 - Breinigsville, PA
  3. Ice Ice Kirbys - $1,450 - Berlin, MD

Community Group Team

  1. OC Ravens Roost #44* - $9,057.50 - Ocean City, MD
  2. OPST Hammerheads - $815 - Ocean Pines, MD
  3. The Atlantic Club - $400 - Ocean City, MD

*The Ravens Roost team has contributed nearly $153,000 to the AGH Penguin Swim over the last 13 years.

Business Team

  1. Bull on the Beach* - $20,000 - Ocean City, MD
  2. OC Wasabi - $2,000 - Ocean City, MD
  3. The Dispatch - $1,150 - Berlin, MD

*The Bull on the Beach team has contributed more than $662,000 to the AGH Penguin Swim since it started in 1995.

Celebrity Challenge Team

  1. License to Chill - $3,595 - Ocean City, MD
  2. Mike for Mayor - $450 - West Chester, PA
  3. Delmarva Aces - $25 - Berlin, MD


Oldest Penguin

June Barnes - 91 years, 4 months, 5 days young - Fallston, MD

Youngest Penguin

Charlie Draeger - 1 year, 11 months, 3 days old - Landsville, PA

Traveled the Furthest

Karl Perkins - Euless, TX


Best Youth Costume

Sloan Aye as “Mermaid Princess” - Baltimore, MD

Best Adult Costume

Butch Lorditch as “Genie” - Denver, PA

Best Couple Costume

Kelli & Matthew Brozena as “Lifeguard & Shark” - Telford, PA

Best Group Costume

Bridgette Garchella & Family/Friends as “Kiss Covid Goodbye” - Ocean City, MD

“Blingiest” Costume sponsored by Park Place Jewelers

Lindsey Reed, Reagan Reed, Kate Reed, Layla Hamrock, Brooklyn Paul as “Frosty Friends” - Berlin, MD