80 polar plungers raised $50,000 for youth at YMCA of Reading & Berks County’s Marsh Madness

On Saturday, 80 community members plunged feet first into Blue Marsh Lake to raise funds and awareness for the YMCA of Reading & Berks County’s 18th Annual St. Patty’s Marsh Madness Polar Plunge.

All proceeds from Marsh Madness benefit the Y’s Open Doors Scholarship program to provide financial assistance to qualifying local families and securing access for their children to enjoy Y programs and memberships, regardless of their ability to pay.

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Both participants and attendees alike enjoyed a festive atmosphere filled St. Patty’s spirit and themed costumes, free beverages and snacks, including the healthy boost of brrr-avery called The Green Hornet Smoothie made on the smoothie-making bicycle by Shawn Borup, on-staff nutritionist/chef. There was also a YMCA backdrop to commemorate the day with photos and selfies to share on social media, including with the YMCA’s social channels: Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn.

“We had a number of newcomers to the event and a great backing of our annual supporters,” said President & CEO Phillip Borup, YMCA of Reading & Berks County. “We’re so grateful to be in a community that understands the importance for kids to have access to programs like summer camp, childcare, before & after school care, sports and swim lessons. While these programs are fun for the kids, they have been proven to be effective in child development, reducing summer learning loss, and impacting their long-term academic and personal growth,” said Borup.

The awards ceremony recognized the following supporters in three categories.

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Pot of Gold Awards (Top Individuals)

Highest male fundraiser: Mike Doutrich, also a board member of YMCA of Reading & Berks County Highest female fundraiser: Kim Evans, swim coach of YMCA team Youngest polar plunger: Kate Doutrich, age 6. Oldest polar plunger: Phillip Borup. Best female costume: Rachel Roberts. Best male costume: Michael Roberts.

Blarney Chalice Awards (Top Groups)

Best team costume: Reading Y Swim Team. Member Spirit and Community Spirit awards: Exeter LEO Club. Y Spirit Awards (Y Branches).

Y Branch with most funds raised: Reading YMCA
Y Branch with best spirit: Sinking Spring YMCA

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Berks Weekly
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Berks Weekly is an independent and locally owned digital newspaper covering the City of Reading and Berks County. Subscribe today: berksweekly.com/subscribe
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