Lake Opechee plungers raise cash for Laconia Salvation Army

Sunday News Correspondent
November 18. 2017 11:30PM
Accompanied by elves and reindeer, Santa Claus leads the charge into Opechee Cove on Saturday during the 13th annual Laconia Salvation Army Turkey Plunge. (JOHN KOZIOL/Union Leader Correspondent)

LACONIA — For the 13th consecutive year, warm bodies hit cold water Saturday to raise money for the Salvation Army.

After the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign, the annual Turkey Plunge is the Laconia corps’ second largest source of income.

“We are so grateful for what you are about to do today,” Capt. Nora McNeil told dozens of colorfully costumed plungers at Opechee Cove, who waited for Tom Turkey to give a 3-2-1 countdown at noon.

Nora McNeil is Salvation Army co-commander in Laconia along with husband Capt. Scott McNeil.

McNeil, who took the plunge too, said the event demonstrates Lakes Region generosity and is a welcome sign of support.

Since its inception at Endicott Rock Park on Lake Winnipesaukee, the Turkey Plunge — now held on Lake Opechee — has raised almost $150,000, according to Don Morrissey, chairman of the Salvation Army’s Turkey Plunge Committee.

Morrissey said that while the number of teams was down to 11 this year, the hope “is to exceed the $10,000 in 2016, but we won’t know until the tally is made.”

All of the money raised Saturday will be spent at the Laconia Salvation Army, Morrissey said.

The need for the Salvation Army’s services never diminishes, he said.

In 2016, the Laconia corps of the Salvation Army, headquartered on Union Avenue, served over 16,000 meals; provided more than 9,300 days of transitional housing at the Carey House Shelter; gave holiday toys to 1,600 children; filled 6,500 grocery orders; and offered programs to more than a thousand kids and teens.

Morrissey thanked all of the plungers, who braved temperatures in the mid-30’s with the water slightly warmer – as well as sponsors, volunteers, the city and the Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region, which hosted a post-plunge buffet lunch.

General NewsNH PeopleLaconia

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