Jumpers dive into Highland Lake during the Winsted Penguin Plunge in 2011.
Jumpers dive into Highland Lake during the Winsted Penguin Plunge in 2011.

Update Jan. 28: This morning, Debbie Horne, Director of Communications and Marketing, wrote the following via email to The Winsted Phoenix:

“We had 30 individuals registered for the event when the decision was made. Historically, we’ve had about 90 people signed up at this time. 

With teams who traditionally participated in the Winsted Penguin Plunge opting to take the Plunge at other locations, we had to make the difficult decision to cancel the event this year. We are immensely grateful for the involvement and support of so many in the community who made our Winsted Penguin Plunge possible for 17 years. The funds raised have helped us provide more individuals with intellectual disabilities opportunities to play sports, join a team and feel accepted and included.”

WINSTED — After 17 years of holding the Winsted Penguin Plunge at Highland Lake, Special Olympics Connecticut announced on Monday, Jan. 27 that the event has been canceled.
Every year, the organization has Penguin Plunge events all over the country, including several in the state.
The event is a fundraiser for the organization which provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
As part of the event, participants jump into the ice-cold lake in various costumes and outfits.
Over the years, the event has mirrored a Halloween costume party with participants dressing up as comic book, cartoon, television and movie characters.
On a message posted to its Facebook page on Jan. 27, the organization posted that the event was canceled in Winsted this year due to a low number of registrants.
“We’d like to extend our most sincere thanks to the Winsted community for hosting the Winsted Penguin Plunge for 17 years and raising $1.1 million!” the organization posted on its Facebook page. “We appreciate all the support and fun you inspired and the positive impact you’ve had on the lives of our athletes. If you were planning to attend the Winsted Penguin Plunge, we appreciate your understanding and hope you’ll join us as a participant, volunteer or spectator at one of our other Penguin Plunges.”
While Winsted’s Penguin Plunge has been canceled for this year, the organization lists other Penguin Plunge events in the state, including Farmington Penguin Plunge at Winding Trails on Sunday, Feb. 9 and the Middletown Penguin Plunge at the Polish Falcons Club on Saturday, Feb. 29.
For more information go to https://www.soct.org/ways-give/penguin-plunge