Buoyed by the spirit of philanthropy, more than 100 Penn State Altoona students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends braved a water temperature hovering around freezing and an air temperature in the low 20’s, as they took turns leaping into the lake at Canoe Creek State Park during the second annual Winter Plunge.
Organized by the college’s Alumni Society, the frosty fundraiser benefits the society’s scholarship program and Penn State Altoona Benefiting THON. Sheetz Inc. was the title sponsor of the event. C. David Kimmel, associate director of alumni relations and stewardship, said gross proceeds from donations and sponsorships totaled nearly $50,000.
“The 2014 Winter Plunge Planning Committee could not be more pleased with the results of this year’s event,” said John Gallace, event chairman. “We give many thanks to our corporate sponsors and countless volunteers for donating their time, talents and monetary support to help make the Winter Plunge a huge success.
“Without their support, we would not have had such a fun event, nor would we have enjoyed the incredible growth in just our second year. Most importantly, we must thank the 116 plungers who braved the snow and the cold to jump into the 33-degree water, all in the name of charity. This group was resolute in their collection of donations, as they were responsible for over two-thirds of our funds raised.”
The inaugural Winter Plunge in 2013 netted proceeds from pledges and sponsorships, totaling more than $13,000.
The student-led Penn State Altoona Benefiting THON annually ranks as a leader among the Penn State Commonwealth campuses in the fundraising competition. Last year, the organization raised more than $100,000, a record for Penn State Altoona and all Commonwealth campuses. A record of more than $12.37 million was raised by Penn State students in support of THON 2013.
Since the 1999-2000 academic year, more than $20,000 in financial aid has been awarded to students through the scholarship endowed by the Alumni Society.
Additional philanthropic support for the Winter Plunge may be mailed to Penn State Altoona Office of Development and Alumni Relations, Kazmaier Family Building, 1419 12th Ave., Altoona, PA 16601. Please make checks payable to Penn State Altoona Alumni Society.