Firefighters from the Hopkins Hill Fire District along with friends and family were among the masses that spent their New Year's Day charging into near-freezing water at Roger Wheeler State Beach for the 37th Annual Penguin Plunge in Narragansett.
This was the department's twelfth year of participating in the plunge that raises money for Rhode Island Special Olympics. This year, Hopkins Hill had set a fund-raising goal of $10,000, hoping to beat last year's $8,000 collection. At final count, HHFD ended up raised $13,750, bringing their 12-year total to an impressive $95,000.
As part of their annual tradition, the plungers once again met at Chief Frank Brown's home before the event, joined by their 25-foot tall inflatable penguin - a trademark that makes the group pretty easy to find despite the large crowd.
Back in 2010, Chief Brown explained that he decided to get the department involved in a charitable organization after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
"We wear our fire helmets when we plunge not to show that we are firefighters but to pay remembrance and honor for the 343 firefighters that died on 9/11," he said.