ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Participating during the chilly event are Tamaqua YMCA volunteers, from front left, Sckylar Souders, 12, Lansford; Nikole Haller, 11, Shenandoah; Rune Souders, 8, Lansford; Heather Dunning, Lansford; Jenny Zona, Lansford and Gabe Zumberger, Tamaqua. Middle row from left are Eric Becker, Shenandoah; Chris Lech, Tamaqua; John Quigley, Summit Hill; Laurie Campomizzi, Tamaqua; and Rachael Maly Smith, Tamaqua. Back row are Travis Gibiser, Coaldale; Susan Deesing, Barnesville; Dawn Benner, Andreas; John Deesing Jr., Barnesville; and Linda and John Yanick, Coaldale.
Temperatures in the low 30's and snow didn't prevent Tamaqua YMCA members and volunteers from plunging into chilly water during the 7th annual YMCA St Patty's Marsh Madness Ice Plunge for Kids event held Saturday at Blue Marsh Lake in Berks County. The Tamaqua YMCA team, who chose to dress as 80's characters, traveled via the Tamaqua YMCA bus to participate in the annual ice plunge event. More than 300 people, representing area YMCA branches, participated in the chilly event. Pledge funds raised prior to the event go to each YMCA's youth programs.
The event encourages each competing YMCA branch to compete with other teams in various categories. The Tamaqua YMCA team won the category for "most spirited."
Participants followed bagpipers to the lake's edge before taking the plunge. Tamaqua YMCA executive director Nick Zigmant stated his appreciation to all the Tamaqua participants who made the event a fun one.
Food was also provided afterwards to all the participants. Anyone wanting to participate in next year's plunge is encouraged to call or stop by the Tamaqua YMCA.