Rindge man takes a dip for Special Olympics

  • Michael St. Aubin of Nashua, left, and his father, Albert St. Aubin of Rindge, prepare to plunge into the ocean at Hampton Beach in February 2021, as part of a Penguin Plunge challenge to raise money for the New Hampshire Special Olympics. Courtesy photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/12/2022 10:06:10 AM

Father and son Albert St. Aubin of Rindge and Michael St. Aubin of Nashua are taking the plunge into the freezing waters of Hampton Beach Feb. 12 for a good cause – the New Hampshire Special Olympics.

The organization holds several “Penguin Plunges” each year as a fundraiser, usually with a designated day for groups to take a leap into the waters of Hampton Beach. This year and last, the plunge was modified to a “do-it-yourself” model to avoid gathering a crowd of participants. Individuals or teams raise funds through pledges, and find a body of water – it does not have to be Hampton Beach – to jump in, and submit a video of themselves following through.

Albert St. Aubin said he first became a volunteer for the Special Olympics back in 1986, as a member of the military, and later, when he was a police officer, he gave his time again. One of his roles has been as the mascot McGruff the Crime Dog, who would appear to cheer athletes on, although he said he has participated in various volunteer roles over the years.

“It’s just overall a great organization, who do something great for the kids,” said St. Aubin, who added he knows several friends or family members who have athletes who participate in the Special Olympics. 

St. Aubin said when he heard last year that the annual Penguin Plunge was going virtual, he wanted to do his part to ensure that COVID restrictions didn’t put a dent in the fundraising efforts. He and his son signed up as individual participants, and together, raised about $2,500. The two even made the drive up to Hampton Beach, to do their dip in the usual official spot.

“It was the first one I ever did. It’s a little bit chilly, but it’s fun,” St. Aubin said. 

This year, they’re doing it again, hoping to meet a goal of at least $2,000 between the two of them. So far, St. Aubin said, they’re well on their way to that goal – Albert’s goal page has reached $446 donations, and Michael’s $925. 

Donate to Albert St. Aubin’s plunge at fundraising.sonh.org/fundraisers/albertstaubin/penguinplunge, or to Michael St. Aubin’s at fundraising.sonh.org/fundraisers/michaelstaubin/penguin-plunge.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT. 


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