Pelican Plunge participants help raise $3500 for school program - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Pelican Plunge raises $3,500 for Discover America school program

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A beach full of people braved the 50 degree rainy weather, and just as cold water, at Hunting Island State Park beach for a good cause.

Rain or sunshine, it didn't keep hundreds of people away from starting off their New Year with the sixth annual Pelican Plunge.

The young and old, as well as the four legged, were among the participants Wednesday.

Joining them were hundreds more observers who cheered them on.

"It was great, it was awesome. We're going to do it again next year," said participant Jerry Ashmore.

He and his three daughters are planning to make this a family tradition.

For their first Pelican Plunge, the girls say they tried to prepare.

"We slept without the covers on us and we had the fan on to the highest point but we gave up easily. It's so cold," said Katelyn Ashmore.

"It wakes up the New Year! He didn't go all the way in so he cheated! I went head under, ok," joked Savannah Fender.  

She and her dad, Doug, have taken the plunge 5 out of 6 years.

It's become a fun bonding experience for the father/daughter pair.

"We do some jumps, some jumping backs, a little leg exercise. We ran here this morning so we really got the 'Eye of the Tiger' going, the Rocky motivation, so yeah," she added.

First time plunger Chuck Morgan says he enjoyed himself, but his dog, Saflo, may have outdone him.

"Ah! Amazing, amazing! He led me. I thought I'd be taking him, but I think he took me for a swim. He's all about it. First in, last out," said Morgan.

There's no admission fee for the Pelican Plunge, but participants could pledge a donation towards the park's "Discover America" school program.

The park was able to raise a little more than $3,500 for the Discover America program from this year's donations.

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