STRATHAM – Winter is in full swing, and the New Hampshire SPCA is excited to announce the return of its much-loved frigid fundraiser, the Doggie Paddle Plunge, presented by Jackson Lewis, LLC. This year marks the 10th anniversary of this Seacoast favorite, which has become one of the agency’s signature events. The Plunge will take place on Sat., March 7 at Great Island Common in New Castle, NH. Registration begins at 11:00 a.m., with Plunging festivities starting at noon.
The New Hampshire SPCA also welcomes back celebrity host Katherine Underwood, reporter and anchor for NBC Boston and NECN. Katherine has been an avid supporter of the New Hampshire SPCA, featuring the shelter animals in numerous news segments advocating for adoption. 2020 marks the third time that Katherine will join the Plunge team.
Each year, the Doggie Paddle Plunge challenges brave and spirited animal lovers to bear the elements and dive into the icy Atlantic Ocean in support of the New Hampshire SPCA and its furry residents. Participants can register individually or as a group, collecting donations from family, friends and anyone who challenges them to ‘Take the Plunge’. This event is critical to the life-saving work of the New Hampshire SPCA, raising funds that provide warmth, nourishment, medical care and love to the 2,000 homeless animals who come through the shelter every year.
For anyone who doesn’t like the cold or can’t attend the Doggie Paddle Plunge in person, there’s also the option to participate as a “Virtual Plunger.” Virtual Plungers will fundraise leading up to the event like all other participants, but instead of taking an arctic dip, they can watch the action broadcast on Facebook Live from the comfort of home or wherever they may be.
The Doggie Paddle Plunge on March 7 will begin at Great Island Common in New Castle, at 11:00 a.m. with check-in, donation submissions and a hot drink and snacks before the big dip. At 12:00 p.m. sharp, the action heads to the beach, with Plungers running full speed ahead into the wintry waters of the Atlantic. It’s a sight to be seen, with costumes, comradery, and crowds of family and friends cheering them on. Festivities then continue back indoors, where a hot meal and more awaits.
The Doggie Paddle Plunge is bigger than a fundraiser. It’s a daring and fun-filled event that is uniquely thrilling, chilling and fulfilling. “Our goal this year is to increase our number of Plungers, both in-person and virtual, and together raise $30,000 for the New Hampshire SPCA,” said Sheila Ryan, Director of Development at the New Hampshire SPCA. “The Doggie Paddle Plunge is vital for our agency, raising essential funds that benefit not only the dogs at our shelter, but the cats, farm animals and small animals too. This year, we’ll welcome nearly 2,000 animals through our doors, many who’ve experienced heartbreaking, neglectful situations. Thanks to the commitment of our spirited and passionate Plungers, we’ll be able to provide essential medical treatments, lifesaving surgeries, and many other resources our rescue teams need. Every person, every pledge, no matter the size, helps us continue this work, and we are forever grateful!”
As a thank you to the Plungers who have gone above and beyond for the animals, Doggie Paddle Plunge branded prizes are awarded to the event’s top fundraisers. Anyone who raises $150.00 or more wins a long sleeve t-shirt, and those who raise $500 or more win a thermal fleece vest. For the top fundraising Plunger, there’s a special custom prize made just for them. Employer matching gifts can be an easy way to double donations. To encourage this, the New Hampshire SPCA is giving silver picture frames to any Plunger who returns their matching gift form.
Registration fees are $40.00 for Adult Plungers, $25.00 for Youth Plungers (under 18), and $15.00 for Virtual Plungers, and include pre-Plunge drinks and snacks, with lunch immediately after. Plungers are encouraged to pre-register at https://nhspca.org/doggie-paddle-plunge/. Family and friends are welcome to join in the revelry and cheer on the Plungers from the beach and for a small donation, enjoy lunch. All Doggie Paddle Plunge information can be found at https://nhspca.org/doggie-paddle-plunge.