“It’s just mind over matter:” 29th annual Penguin Swim makes big splash for a good cause

OCEAN CITY, Md. –  “It’s just mind over matter. You just run and go. Don’t tip toe in, you have to go all in,” Participant Jill Curtis said.

Sunday, over 900 swimmers flocked to the beachfront in Ocean City and made quite the splash as the 29th annual Penguin Swim returned supporting Atlantic General Hospital. “All these strangers come together for one cause. Besides getting cold, they’re doing it just to help the hospital out to raise money,” Swimmer Paul Curtis said.

“To provide free services to our community as well as boosting the services we already provide. We offer ER services and there’s a lot of testing that takes place throughout our entire county and the end of lower Sussex County as well,” Green said.

Atlantic General Hospital Foundation Chairman Steven Green says the day also served as a ‘friend raiser,’ with several associates and physicians participating in the swim as well. “It’s an opportunity for them to see how much they are loved in this community,” Green said.

“These are very unique times for our health care industry. Events like this help us move forward in a positive direction.”

For Jill and Paul Curtis, the event has now become a family tradition for a special reason. “We were only married about 2 weeks the first time that we did,” Curtis said.

“We were just sitting inside a while ago discussing that next year will be 10 years. We’re going to have to go ahead and figure out what we’re going to do to celebrate 10 years of doing this as a family.”

It may not be the typical New Year start, but it was the plunge that some swimmers say they needed. “I will be back next year because this was very exciting. I kind of want to make this a tradition but we’ll see,” Participant Jordie Clark said.

“Just commit and do it. Start your year off with commitment,” Curtis said.

The penguin swim was rounded out with an award ceremony honoring the biggest fundraisers.

Preparations are already underway for a big return next year, as it will mark the 30th anniversary.

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