Penguin 4H_300x245Muhlenberg 4H Teens Take Annual Penguin Plunge. (Photo courtesy Amy Hourigan.)MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (2/4/14) — Muhlenberg County residents love to take the plunge for a great cause.

The Penguin Plunge that is.

The 2014 Muhlenberg County 4H Penguin Plunge is scheduled Feb. 22 at the Central City Convention Center.

For those unfamiliar with the Penguin Plunge, Mackenzie Pogue, Muhlenberg County Extension Agent for 4H Youth Development, explains.

"The Penguin Plunge was created to help fund our Kids Backpack Program," Pogue said. "About 12 years ago the program began, and it has grown every year. The whole purpose is to help feed the more than 600 underprivileged children in our county. Last year the number of children eligible was around 450. This year the number continues to grow almost daily."

The concept is simple, but fills an urgent need.

Each week, members of 4H fill backpacks with food. Volunteers deliver the food to schools throughout the county and distribute the food-filled backpacks to those who qualify.

According to Pogue, the teen club decided four or five years ago to fund the program through the Penguin Plunge.

"4H members go out in the community and promote the event," said Pogue. "The incentive is to collect or donate $100 to fill each backpack with food. If you collect $100 you get to take the plunge in the CCCC outdoor pool. Turnout in 2012 and 2013 was very successful. We raised nearly $40,000 in 2012, and almost $50,000 in 2013. But with the growing number of children in need of food, our goal this year is $60,000," said Pogue.

Pogue noted that this year if the teen club reaches the $60,000 goal, she has to take the plunge.

If they don't reach the goal, Pogue has to take a refreshing dip.

"The teen club has about 35 members, and they do a fantastic job every year." Pogue said.

Another opportunity to help, according to Pogue, is to order pizza from Papa John's Copper Creek location on Feb. 11 and 12.

"Papa John's Pizza will donate 20% of proceeds from each pizza you order on Feb. 11 and 12 when you tell them you want the money to go to the Penguin Plunge," said Pogue.

Volunteer financial contributions are welcome, too.

To donate, mail or drop off at:

Muhlenberg Cooperative Extension Office
3690 State Route 1380
Central City, Ky. 42330

For more information about the 4H Penguin Plunge, call (270) 338-0710.

Paul McRee
SurfKY News
Photos courtesy of Mackenzie Pogue

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