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Special Olympics Connecticut To Honor Ocean Beach Park

New London beach, which has hosted the Penguin Plunge for 10 years, will be recognized at the Hall of Fame dinner

Ocean Beach Park is hosting the Penguin Plunge fundraiser for Special Olympics Connecticut for the 10th year, and the organizers will recognize the site's generosity at a dinner next month.

The beach will receive the Outstanding Organization Award at Special Olympics Connecticut's Hall of Fame Dinner on March 20. Registration for the event starts at 5 p.m. with the program to follow at 6 p.m. The dinner will take place at the Aqua Turf Country Club in Plantsville.

Penguin Plunge participants have been visiting Ocean Beach Park each winter since 2003 to run into the icy waters of Long Island Sound. According to a press release from Special Olympics Connecticut, the New London event has raised over $550,000 to date, with participants steadily increasing over the years. About 100 people took part in the inaugural event, while closer to 400 people took the plunge in 2012.

Special Olympics Connecticut praised Ocean Beach Park staff, including David Sugrue and Sandy Grady, for their work with the fundraiser. The organization also said that the site has been an "optimal setting" for the Penguin Plunge due to ample parking, concessions, and an indoor heated conference center for registration.

Tickets for the dinner are $25 per person and may be reserved by calling 203-230-1201 or e-mailing kellib@soct.org.

The Penguin Plunge at Ocean Beach Park was set to take place on Feb. 17 but was delayed due to snowy conditions from the prior weekend's nor'easter and a forecast for more snow. Registration for the event will take place at 10 a.m. with the plunge to follow at noon.

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