By some happy coincidence, last Saturday was both a work day for many of us at VPR during our winter membership drive, and also the day of the annual Penguin Plunge in Burlington - a fundraiser of a different sort for the Special Olympics.
VPR had already put a plunging team together when we discovered the double-booking, but VPR Penguinis team captain Ric Cengeri was undeterred. We showed up to work early on Saturday, gym bags packed with warm clothes and our bathing suits on under our sweatpants. When our shift ended at 10, we piled into cars and headed to Burlington's Waterfront.
Except for Ric, we were a team of rookies: Joe Goetz, David Warren, my sister Lauren (a WBUR Boston listener and volunteer, visiting for the weekend), and myself. As we waited for our turn we huddled together, drinking coffee, trying to stay warm despite the 15-degree temperature, and watching other groups plunge. I impressed my colleagues by singing along when the DJ played Ice, Ice Baby, since I know all the words (I'm not proud. Actually, I kind of am).
Eventually, we were called in to a makeshift, mercifully warm "locker room" and gathered in a staging area, where we chanted things like "VPR! VPR! VPR!" and "1-800-639-6391!" and "Chanting! Chanting! Chanting!"
As for what happened next? I think the pictures are worth 1,000s of words.
I think perhaps a tradition has been born. Can't wait for next year's plunge!