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Plunge earns funds for Seeds of Learning

By Dee McPeek
Special to The PREVIEW

Photo courtesy Lynne Bridges Children at Seeds of Learning present Michael Whiting and Jan Santopietro with framed pieces of their art as a thank you for donations received from the Penguin Plunge. The students are Lilah Ricker, Aurora Grant, Connor Kirkham, Rueben Marquez, Case Matteson, Clayton Shamburg and Braylon Landry. 

Photo courtesy Lynne Bridges
Children at Seeds of Learning present Michael Whiting and Jan Santopietro with framed pieces of their art as a thank you for donations received from the Penguin Plunge. The students are Lilah Ricker, Aurora Grant, Connor Kirkham, Rueben Marquez, Case Matteson, Clayton Shamburg and Braylon Landry.

Looking much warmer and drier, Jan Santopietro and Michael Whiting visited Seeds of Learning to present the donations they gathered by plunging in the San Juan River.

As part of the WinterFest activities organized by the Chamber of Commerce, brave folks like Jan and Michael collected pledges, then made good on their promises to participate in the Penguin Plunge.

With  water temperature hovering around 30 degrees,and snow in the air, it took great courage to leap in and float over Davey’s Wave.

Jan, in her penguin hat, and Michael in his “Union Jacks” were both up to the task.

“It wasn’t bad; I’ll do it again next year” commented Jan later. Michael seems convinced the frigid dip cured his bout with the Pagosa Crud.

Together, they raised more than $1,000 for Seeds of Learning.

The event raised over $9,000 total for several local non-profits. In this difficult economy every penny donated is gratefully received.

This fun and wacky idea is a wonderful way for locals and visitors alike to support Pagosa charities. It is especially wonderful for those of us who stayed dry and cheered from the river bank.

This story was posted on February 28, 2013.