Tamaqua YMCA volunteers pictured just before the ice plunge are, from left, "Smurf" Mike Bernadine, West Penn; "Smurf" Aaron Dotson, West Penn; "Thing 1" Laurie Campomizzi, Tamaqua; "Thing 1" Cynthia Sabol, Tamaqua, Tamaqua YMCA executive director; "Smurf" Nick Zigmant, board member; blue "Avatar" Andrew Leibenguth, Tamaqua; and "Fairy" Ashley Rodgers, Coaldale.
Tamaqua YMCA members, volunteers, board members, and employees represented themselves as the Tamaqua YMCA team while participating in the regional YMCA "Marsh" Madness Ice Plunge event held recently.
Spectators and ice jumpers for the Tamaqua YMCA team piled into the Tamaqua YMCA bus to participate in the annual ice plunge event held at the Blue Marsh Lake near Reading. Pledge funds raised prior to the event go to each YMCA's youth programs.
The event asks each competing YMCA to have a theme and dress up for the theme. "We Do Exist," from the Dr Pepper character commercial, was the theme for the Tamaqua YMCA, as it involved fairytale and make-believe characters.
Despite chilly rain, blistering winds, and very cold water temperature, a number of Tamaqua YMCA volunteers made the jump into the ice cold water.
Tamaqua YMCA board member and ice jumper Andrew Leibenguth was rewarded first prize trophy for being character "Jake Sully" from the movie Avatar. Leibenguth said he gave all the credit for winning to his cousin, Andrea Rodgers, as she volunteered as his makeup and costume artist.
Tamaqua YMCA executive director Nick Zigmant won "What's Best For The Kids" trophy for the YMCA for his efforts with all the Tamaqua youth programs.
Free food was provided afterward by a local fire company. Anyone wanting to join the YMCA "Blue" Marsh Ice Plunge for next year is asked to call the Tamaqua YMCA at (570) 668-2903.