Dozens of people braved the icy waters Saturday for the annual Quemahoning Chillin’ for Charity Winter Festival & Artic Splash.
The event raises thousands of dollars for charities throughout Cambria and Somerset County.
Vaughn Holsopple raised money for Camp PARC. This was his second time taking the plunge.
“I was here a few years ago. It’s fun I enjoy it,” said Holsopple.
First-time plunger Tracy Pendergrass said she was nervous, but still willing to jump in the water to raise money for CASA: Court appointed Special Advocates.
“Casa’s a wonderful charity. It not only helps underprivileged children in the community but abused children too,” Pendergrass said. “That would be the only reason you would get in cold water in the middle of winter: would be for a charitable event,”
The event originally started back in 2011 to raise money for Special Olympics. Then, in 2015, event organizers invited other charities to participate. The festival has raised more than $100,000 in the last three years.
Event organizers said all the food, music and equipment was donated, which means more money goes back to these volunteer-based organizations to help people in need.
“They don’t get paid to do what they’re doing. They do it because they care about the community and that to me is something we all can support,” said Event Coordinator Paula Eppley- Newman.
This year, nine charities took home about $19,000. Starting Monday, you can still donate for two more weeks online.
Plungers said the chilly challenge was worth the cold walk back to the car.
“It’s just water. I’ll dry,” Holsopple said.
Find out how to donate to the Chillin’ for Charity organizations by clicking here.