Annual Mont Alto Plunge returns to an in-person December event to benefit children with cancer

Mont Alto, Pa. — Whether this year’s Mont Alto Plunge participants jump into the lake at Cowans Gap State Park or select the personal option and use a bucket (wherever they may be), icy water is in the forecast for the weekend of December 5, 2021.

Plunge participants are currently fundraising to contribute to the money that Penn State Mont Alto’s student THON dance team will take to the February dance marathon in State College, PA. Money collected to benefit THON helps children and families impacted by pediatric cancer, through the Four Diamonds Foundation. To date, THON has raised more than $190 million and has assisted more than 4,000 families. Since 2018 when the Mont Alto Plunge debuted, this local event has raised $37,500 for that cause.

Last year’s “Personal Plunge” was held virtually as a bucket challenge, raising nearly $9,000. Participants signed up, asked their personal networks for financial support, then shared videos of themselves tipping buckets of cold water over their heads. The style of immersion wasn’t the only way that the 2020 event was different. Conscious of the fact that the pandemic had had an impact on the bottom line of many businesses, the organizers invited their community partners to create teams and participate as an alternative to sponsorship.

Both of these new developments in the delivery of the Plunge were so popular last year that they are being continued as part of future events. This year individuals and teams can participate by plunging into the lake on December 5, or they can opt to do the “Personal Plunge” without making the trek to the State Park. This year businesses can support the Mont Alto Plunge by sponsoring the event or participants, by making donations, or by encouraging their employees to participate.

This event is organized, promoted, and staffed by alumni and students working together. Student Primary Chair of Penn State Mont Alto’s THON team, Raylee Gibbons, shares her personal motivation for getting involved: “Coming from a family where cancer has hit very close home, I THON so no family has to fight the battle alone!”

The process for signing up requires a small initial registration fee of $10, and participants receive a free shirt for getting involved. Details about the upcoming Plunge, how to jump into the activities related to it, and how to contact organizers can be accessed at .

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