Icy leap to benefit local nonprofits

Callie Burgan, Opinions Editor

Participants are to make a splash Feb. 9 at the fifth annual Quemahoning Chillin’ for Charity Winter Festival and Arctic Splash.

The event is not just about challenging someone to take an icy leap; it’s also about raising awareness and financial support for nonprofit community organizations.

Event coordinator Paula Eppley-Newman said teams have raised over $140,000 for participating charities since 2015.

This year, the charity lineup includes nonprofit organizations such as Camp PARC, the Cambria County Backpack Project and the Cambria County Humane Society. 

Participants may join a specific team, or support the general fund, with money divided among participating nonprofits.

Festivities begin at 9 a.m. at the Quemahoning Family Recreation Area. Registration begins at 10 a.m., with the Arctic Splash set for 2 p.m.

Participants have been advised to dress in layers, including water clothing as their bottommost layer.

Shoes must be worn at all times.

Local emergency services and water rescue are to be onsite throughout the event. 

“Everything is in place,” Eppley-Newman said.

“Now we just need participants to come out that day and enjoy the free music and food festivities.”

This year’s bands include Dan Stonerook, Stanley Supranowicz and Smith & Co. 

Jennifer Kush, of Johnstown, was a plunge participant last year with the PAWS House team.

She said that the experience was the most exciting fundraiser she has participated in.

Eppley-Newman said she is grateful for the support the event has received throughout previous years.

“By braving the freezing cold to support one or all of these organizations, you will be warming the heart of someone in need,” she said.