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Chillin’ for Charity 2015 officially came to a close on Saturday, March 14, when the Sipesville Volunteer Fire Department was recognized for raising more than $11,000, with 160 donors contributing. This year, a total of about $54,000 was raised for the Quemahoning Chillin’ for Charity Winter Festival & Arctic Splash (formerly known as the polar plunge).

“The community support was outstanding,” said Paula Eppley-Newman, Chillin’ event coordinator. “This is grass-roots fundraising at its finest.”

The icy dip took place at the Quemahoning Family Recreation Area. The event was started in 2011 and supports 15 local organizations in Cambria and Somerset counties: Camp PARC, Cinderella Project, Coaches 4 Kids Foundation, Commission on Hope, Ferndale Volunteer Fire Association, Flood City Youth Fitness, Johnstown Backpack Project, Johnstown Free Medical Clinic, NAACP: Adult Unit, NAACP: Youth Unit, PAWS House, Peniel Residential Drug/Alcohol Treatment Center, Sipesville Volunteer Fire Department, The Ethel Fund, and United Methodist Human Services.

Chillin’ for Charity is not just about challenging someone to take that icy leap; it’s also about raising awareness and financial support for nonprofit organizations doing great things in the community. It is the ‘coolest’ thing to do all winter.

“For people to be so committed to an organization that they would not only raise funds for them, they would also jump into freezing cold water to raise awareness of what they do is amazing,” said Eppley-Newman. “We live in a truly awesome community.”

Until 2016, the chill is over.

2015 Top Six Chillin’ Charities:

  1. Sipesville Volunteer Fire Department: $11,932.00
  2. PAWS House: $6,405.54
  3. Camp PARC: $5,325.00
  4. United Methodist Human Services: $4,492.00
  5. Johnstown Backpack Project: $3,272.00
  6. Johnstown Free Clinic: $2,993.00

For more information about the Chillin’ for Charity Winter Festival and Arctic Splash, to find answers to frequently asked questions about the event, to learn more about the charities involved, or to get event news and updates, visit

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