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Contact: Becky McClarran


Cumberland – Now in its fifteenth year, the Hooley Plunge is the largest single day fundraising event in Allegany County. Scheduled for Saturday, March 2, hundreds of brave souls run into the freezing waters of Lake Habeeb at Rocky Gap State Park to raise money for the Special Olympics of Allegany County and other local programs benefitting the developmentally disabled. Since the Hooley Plunge inception, over 1.3 million dollars has been raised. The Hooley Plunge is coordinated by the Alhambra Wamba Caravan #89 and co-chaired by Alhambra members Murray Gornall and Rob Adams.

“Go Bold. Go Cold,” joked Adams. “It’s actually inspiring to see so many people of all ages come out to the Plunge. It’s a true community event. 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 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. It makes me proud to be part of this community.”

The Rotary Club of Cumberland and the Doug and Betsey Schwab Family Foundation continue to be strong supporters of the Hooley Plunge. Corporate sponsors include Hunter Douglas, Northrop Grumman, Sheetz Convenience Stores, Western Maryland Distributors, Rocky Gap Casino Resort, Western Maryland Dermatology, School Therapy Service, Inc., US Cellular and Adams Family Funeral Home.

“Money raised by the annual Hooley Plunge goes directly to support programs that help people in need that live in our community and that’s important,” commented Murray. The Plunge fully funds the entire annual budget for the Special Olympics of Allegany County. Other programs benefitting from the annual fundraiser include the Allegany County Board of Education Inclusion Sports programs and the SLE Programs at Cash Valley Elementary, Fort Hill High School and Mountain Ridge High School, as well as, the Career Center; the Board of Education’s Transition program with Allegany College of Maryland. Other recipients include Bishop Walsh School and Calvary Christian School, Boy Scout Troop #89, Friends Aware Social Committee, Service Coordination, Inc., Ray of Hope, and a Frostburg State University scholarship.

The Hooley Plunge kick-off starts with the D’Atri Family restaurants donating a percentage of sales made on Tuesday, February 26. “The family members got together and came up with a Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner plan,” commented Sean D’Atri, owner of Patrick’s Pub in Cumberland. The three restaurants, D’Atris, Patrick’s Pub and Fratelli’s divided the day into breakfast, lunch and dinner with each restaurant donating 15% of sales for their part. D’Atris in LaVale is donating 15% of breakfast sales from 7 am – 12 noon, Patrick’s Pub is donating 15% of lunch sales from 11 am – 3 pm and Fratelli’s is giving 15% of dinner sales from 4 – 10 pm.

Rocky Gap Casino Resort will hold its Friday night Pre-Hooley Party in the Allegheny Room on Friday, March 1 from 8 -11 pm. Local musicians, The Cramer Brothers will perform at the party. Rocky Gap Casino Resort is also offering a special 10% special discount Hooley Plunge rate, good for Friday, March 1. Hotel guests should use the coupon code Hooley19 to receive an online discount or call 301-784-8400 and mention it's for the Hooley.

Following the Hooley Plunge on Saturday, 1812 Brewery will be hosting a Post-Plunge Party with the Shanty Irish performing starting at 3 pm. Good Carma Catering and Chef Paul’s Kitchen food trucks will both be at the brewery during the party. There will be a $5 cover fee for the event, which will be donated to the Hooley Plunge.

On-site registration for the Hooley Plunge will begin at 10 am on Saturday, March 2 and the Plunge will take place at 1 pm. Plungers and spectators are encouraged to arrive early so there is no traffic backup. For more information or to register for the Plunge, visit or Hooley Plunge on Facebook or call 301-724-2453.