Windham High School Braves the COLD for Special Olympics Plunge

February 13, 2015

by Bob Gibbs

On a very cold and windy day with the wind chill factor close to minus 30 degrees, a group of dedicated students from Windham High School took a dip in the 40-degree ocean at Hampton Beach.

It was sunny, but very blustery and frigid there.  Not the typical day for anyone to go to the beach for a swim in New England.  However, students and adults from Windham High School traveled to Hampton to take part in the 2015 High School Penguin Plunge.

This was Windham’s third year participating in the Penguin Plunge.

As a high school, Windham raised $10,100 in a two-week period.  One of the first-time plungers, Hannah Klaassens, who brought in $2,600; was recognized for her significant contributions.

At the seventh annual high school plunge, more than 40 schools from southern New Hampshire kept their pledge to go in the water on this coldest of days.  Nearly 600 students braved the record cold day for the plunge that tallied $190,000 for the Special Olympics.

Plungers had to raise $175 to participate in the high school plunge.  The theme for this year’s plunge was superheroes.

“Overall, it was a great day,” said plunger Matt Blair. ”I was excited to see how many students and high schools were there and did not let the cold temperatures and strong winds scare them away.  Running into the water definitely felt like we had been electrocuted; and we had the wind knocked out of us, but we were fine shortly after.  Our motivation was remembering the reason and cause of why we were plunging.  We have no regrets, and (were) very happy to support Special Olympics New Hampshire.”

Blair continued; “I am very excited and proud to see how the Penguin Plunge has grown in Windham High School.  Our first year, we had six students and myself.  The second year we had 14 students and 2 teachers/coaches.  This year we had over 30 students and coaches.”

Below are the Windham High School participants for the 2015 Penguin Plunge:

Coaches:  Matthew Blair, Todd Steffanides, and Matthew Bryant

Students:  Hannah Klaassens, Ashley Cove, Bobby Dickey, Amanda Hare, Mike Stefanelli, David Carbonello, Kelsey Kendzulak, Anthony Gallo, Elizabeth O’Neill, Caroline Horrigan, Kyle Rembis, Marco Allanach, Kaylee Dolan, Ryan Lanouette, Courtney Sweeny, Kurtis Jolicoeur, Marshal Pesaturo, Davis Potter, Lexi Lewis, Lily Shpak, Ben Emrick, Brendan McInnis, Chris Houde, Mason Wein, Sam Mague, Rachel Lanouette, Korey Lord, Joey Frake, and Brielle Swift