Racing for the waves

Hundreds of participants race for the waves during last year’s Penguin Plunge fundraising event in Atlantic Beach. This year, the event returns at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1 and will raise money for The Salvation Army. (Dylan Ray photo)

The Penguin Plunge enters its 17th year as the event returns to Atlantic Beach at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1 in front of Crab’s Claw Oceanfront Caribbean Restaurant.

The Crab’s Claw is still recovering from damages incurred with Hurricane Florence in September 2018 and hoping to reopen in early next year.

Penguin Plunge co-founder Miriam Sutton expressed her gratitude for the restaurant’s continued support as a major sponsor of the annual event.

This year, Penguin Plunge organizers selected The Salvation Army of Carteret County as the benefactor of proceeds to honor the memory of former Penguin Plunge Mistress of Ceremony Marlene Anderson, who died shortly after last year’s event.

“The Salvation Army was Marlene’s favorite charity,” Penguin Plunge board member Nelson Owens said. in a recent press release He noted how much Ms. Anderson has been missed throughout the community.

“Her enthusiasm was contagious and honoring her passion for life, community and charity certainly fits within the mission of the Penguin Plunge and The Salvation Army,” he said.

The Salvation Army of Carteret County reopened in November at a new Bridges Street location and is still in need of supplies and equipment to assist in serving communities that are continuing to recover from hurricanes Florence and Dorian.

For the past 26 years, The Salvation Army of Carteret County has served as a resource and an anchor of hope for those struggling with poverty, hunger, job loss, addiction and natural disasters, organizers said in the release.

Maj. Goldfarb said the money raised from the Penguin Plunge will go to the organization’s building campaign.

“Major Aaron and Captain Jamie Goldfarb are super excited to plunge in full uniform since The Salvation Army is the recipient of the Penguin Plunge this January 1,” Salvation Army organizers said. “We are honored to have been chosen as the recipients this year.”

Ms. Sutton encourages participants to preregister for the Penguin Plunge 2020 using the online portal that will be available through midnight Monday, Dec. 30 and can be accessed through the Penguin Plunge website,, and Facebook.

Participants can also register beginning at 10 a.m. at the Atlantic Beach boardwalk in front of the Crab’s Claw the day of the event.

Penguin Plunge participants donate a minimum of $10, or $5 for children 12 and under, to participate. A $20 donation includes an event T-shirt, and a $35 donation includes a sweatshirt.

Participating “penguins” should bring donations in the form of cash or credit card and be prepared to enter the ocean at 1 p.m. Bathing suits and use of the buddy system are encouraged while taking the plunge.

Organizers would like to remind participants to be in good health before participating in the Penguin Plunge.

For those who are not compelled to plunge into the chilly Atlantic Ocean, “Too Chicken to Plunge” stickers are also available.

A group photo and Penguin Plunge prizes for the various challenges will be awarded after the event.

Challenge awards, based on the highest number of “penguins” making donations to participate in the plunge, include high school, middle school and elementary school divisions, as well as corporate and civic challenges.

A costume contest will also be held so participants should come dressed to impress, but not robed in a wetsuit.

For more information and the latest updates about the 2020 Penguin Plunge, visit or the Facebook page.

Penguin Plunge mascot Gilbert will be posting updates on his “Penguin Plunge” Twitter and Instagram feeds.

More information about The Salvation Army of Carteret County can be found online at

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