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Penguin Plunge sets February date for 'PortaPlunge'

Registration now available

The Penguin Plunge's PortaPlunge to raise money for Make-A-Wish Illinois is set for 11:30 a.m. through 4 p.m. at Ottawa's Knights of Columbus, 401 W. Main St.
The Penguin Plunge's PortaPlunge to raise money for Make-A-Wish Illinois is set for 11:30 a.m. through 4 p.m. at Ottawa's Knights of Columbus, 401 W. Main St.

This year's Penguin Plunge is on, but instead of plunging into the Illinois River, Make-A-Wish donors will take part in the annual event's first Penguin Plunge Dunk Tank on, fittingly, Leap Day.

While the plunging is changing, the party will remain.

The event is from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29, at the Knights of Columbus, 401 W. Main St., Ottawa. Midland Bank will begin collecting donations at 11:30 a.m. and the band Trophies for Trying will take the stage. The Marquette Pom Poms will serve tenderloins.

All proceeds will benefit Make-A-Wish Illinois, which grants wishes of those in need and can have a dramatic impact on a child's recovery, many of whom reside in Starved Rock Country.

Food, beverages, entertainment, raffles and team challenges will be available throughout the day.

People participating in the "PortaPlunge" can do so as individuals or as teams. Alternatively, they can join the "Un-Leap Year Challenge" and put their fundraising skills to work.

PortaPlunge teams will have eight minutes in the tank and pick a "designated dunkee" or two while the other teammates have the opportunity to dunk their chosen plunger. If a dunkee cannot be selected, team challenges will be available to assist. Teams must have at least four people and a team captain must be selected.

Individual donors will be in the tank for five minutes. Both can receive extra time if the individual or team averages $500 or more per person or for teams larger than 10 as well as those with a significant "fanbase" that could lead to more donations.

Those looking to keep their bodies dry can take part in the "Un-Leap Year Challenge" and fundraiser solely online by using the fundraising page or collecting money in person. Un-Leap Year Challengers are also invited to celebrate at the Plunge event at Knights of Columbus. Those taking part solely in the dry challenge are encouraged to come up with fun challenges to raise money, with some examples being raising a specific amount of money and participating in the ice bucket challenge if the goal is met or coloring your hair a certain color and sharing it on social media.

PortaPlungers and Un-Leap Year Challengers raising at least $129 and are pre-registered by Feb. 14 will receive a commemorative Porta Plunge T-shirt.

To register, visit

For more information, visit, email, or call Linda Johnson at Bill Walsh Tough Rigs at 815-431-8185.

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