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Chelsea Groton Bank FEBRUARY 2017

Employee Spotlight on Larry Walker and his Commitment to the Penguin Plunge

Penguin PlungeWinter is usually the time for curling up by the fire or bundling up before going outside. Not for Larry Walker, VP/Technology Services Manager; this will be his 5th year plunging into the freezing waters of the Long Island Sound for the Penguin Plunge on March 4, 2018.

The Penguin Plunge supports over 13,000 athletes who participate in Special Olympics Connecticut training and competition all year-round. Each year, Special Olympics Connecticut hosts five Penguin Plunges throughout the state, from the shoreline to Farmington to Westport. Participants ("penguins" / "plungers") raise funds to run ("plunge") into the chilly waters of Connecticut.

Chelsea Groton employees have been volunteering at the Penguin Plunge for over 10 years, sending almost 20 volunteers to help with check in, registration, and other responsibilities. Larry started participating in the Penguin Plunge in 2014, when he tried to sign up as a volunteer but there were no more open spots. He learned Chelsea Groton did not have a team plunging so he recruited his daughter and some willing coworkers and the Chelsea Groton Team was formed.

Larry's team varies each year, from four to 10 plungers, with some repeats but no one besides him has plunged every year. Some years are bitterly cold, like last year, and some years are warm enough to stay outside for pictures after plunging. "One year it snowed and they plowed the beach for us. I remember when the wind blew, the snow on our wet bodies felt like pins," Larry said.

The Chelsea Groton Team raises over $1,000 for the cause each year. This year, Larry organized a Soup Day, where staff brought in homemade soup and employees made a $5 donation to partake. The first Soup Day was so well received, Larry scheduled a second. A Dress Down for Charity day was also held to raise money for the Plunge.

Larry is hoping for a record warm when he plunges on March 4th this year. To learn more about the Penguin Plunge and Special Olympics Connecticut, please visit

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