19th Annual Hooley Plunge Scheduled for March 4

Cumberland, MD – In its nineteenth year, the Hooley Plunge has become the largest single-day fundraising event in Allegany County. Scheduled for Saturday, March 4, hundreds of brave souls run into the cold waters of Lake Habeeb at Rocky Gap State Park to raise money for local programs supporting the developmentally disabled, including the Special Olympics of Allegany County, Friends Aware, programs based in both the public and private schools, Boy Scout Troop #89 and more. The Hooley Plunge is coordinated by the Alhambra Wamba Caravan #89 and co-chaired by Alhambra member Rob Adams and Northrop Grumman Material Program Manager Stephen Gray. Since its inception, nearly 1.8 million dollars have been raised.

“It’s truly a reflection on how generous and supportive our community is. Not only do the hundreds of Plungers come out, but their friends, business associates and family members come out and cheer them on. We see kids and teachers from all the schools, senior citizens, entire school and sports teams, organizations and businesses coming together, having a great time and doing something special for those in our local community that are developmentally disabled. The Plunge is privileged to have several corporate sponsors, as well. It makes me proud to be part of this community.” Adams commented.

The inspiration of the Hooley Plunge started with Dr. Sean McCagh as a fundraiser for the YMCA ice rink. As the beloved uncle of a developmentally disabled nephew, McCagh appreciated how vital these programs are for individuals and their families. When the ice rink was closed, McCagh followed his own advice, “Make it personal.”

The Hooley Plunge now funds numerous local programs and organizations, including The Allegany County Board of Education Inclusion Sports programs and SLE Programs at South Penn Elementary, Washington Middle School land Allegany High School. A new Hooley Plunge scholarship was created in 2022 at Allegany College of Maryland in Dr. Sean McCagh’s memory.  Frostburg State University is also the recipient of a Hooley Plunge scholarship designated for a student residing in Allegany County. Other recipients include Bishop Walsh School and Calvary Christian School, Boy Scout Troop #89, Friends Aware, the Western Maryland Food Bank, and the Union Rescue Mission. The Hooley Plunge also fully funds the Special Olympics of Allegany County.

On-site registration for the Hooley Plunge begins at 10 am on Saturday, March 4, and the Plungers take to the waters at 1 pm. Plungers and spectators are encouraged to arrive early to avoid a traffic backup. For more information or to register for the Plunge, visit www.hooleyplunge.com or https://www.facebook.com/HooleyPlunge.

Following the Hooley Plunge, 1812 Brewery hosts a Post Hooley Plunge Party from 3 -5 pm with music by Dan and The Blackberry Band and food by D’Atris Subs along with a special Irish menu by Mise En Place. There is a $5 donation that goes directly to the Hooley Plunge.