Winni Plunge

A wave of law enforcement officers, including a team from the Tilton Police Department on the right, run into the frigid water of Lake Winnipesaukee behind the Margate Resort on Saturday for the annual Winni Plunge to benefit the NH Special Olympics. (Alan MacRae photo/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

LACONIA — The 12th annual Winni Dip saw nearly 200 participants plunging into the 34-degree waters of Lake Winnipesaukee over the weekend to raise $154,798 for Special Olympics New Hampshire.

The two-day fundraiser on the theme “Nifty Fifties” featured a new event, the 24-hour Mega Winni Dip, in which the seven participants agreed to take 24 plunges in 24 hours. Because of the change to Daylight Savings Time this weekend, which stole one of those hours, it was necessary to do “double-dipping” to reach the goal. Still, that single event raised $26,100 for Special Olympics.

The three other dips were the Law Enforcement Winni Dip that had more than 100 members of the New Hampshire law enforcement community taking part; the Cool School Winni Dip, with 65 students, staff, and faculty members from seven schools participating; and Sunday’s Community Winni Dip.

The event, which took place at The Margate Resort, marked the 50th anniversary of Special Olympics New Hampshire (hence the “Nifty Fifties” theme), which serves 3,004 athletes around the state. Special Olympics offers training and competition in 17 sports, as well as health, wellness, and school-based initiatives for those with intellectual disabilities, at no charge. Through its activities, Special Olympics also increases awareness and understanding of those with disabilities.

Last year’s Winni Dip raised $140,000.

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