Union Mutual Raises Over $100,000 for Special Olympics Vermont

MONTPELIER – Union Mutual Insurance Company is proud to announce its Penguin Plunge team of 44 employees, vendors and family members raised over $100,000 to benefit Special Olympics Vermont during the 2023 fundraising season. Since their first Plunge in 2016, the Union Mutual Popsicles have raised nearly $500,000 for Special Olympics Vermont.

Due to dangerously low temperatures and subsequent windchill warnings in the Burlington area on Saturday, Feb. 4, the traditional Plunge into the icy waters of Lake Champlain was moved to a remote event. However, the Union Mutual Popsicles safely took the Plunge in an indoor pool to complete their pledge to their generous donors. The $101,456 mark is the second-highest fundraising total in the event’s history – the Popsicles set the high-water mark in 2020 with over $135,000 raised.

“We genuinely appreciate all the support we received for the Penguin Plunge this year,” Union Mutual President & CEO Lisa Keysar said. “Our team and supporters are inspired year after year to make a difference in the lives of Special Olympics Vermont athletes, and we truly value our relationship with SOVT. This is yet another example of the strength of our partnerships and the giving spirit of our insurance community.”

At the time of this release, four of the top 10 fundraisers were Union Mutual Popsicles, led by Keysar with nearly $20,000 raised, and also include Jeff Staples, Ray Connors and Heather Fossiano. The Special Olympics Vermont Penguin Plunge has raised over $337,000 in 2023, with fundraising ongoing through February 20. For more information or to donate, visit

“Special Olympics Vermont’s relationship with Union Mutual means more than we can say,” Special Olympics Vermont President & CEO Missy Siner said. “The support we get from CEO Lisa Keysar and her talented team is extraordinary. In quantitative terms, our fundraising goal for the Burlington Penguin Plunge is $400,000. The Union Mutual Popsicles raised $100,000! This one team is responsible for contributing 25 percent, which is a significant contribution to our annual operating budget. In practical terms, our support from Union Mutual means SOVT is able to host two or three major statewide competitions in 2023, plus support our programming in athlete leadership, fitness, health, nutrition, and the unified movement in schools and communities around the state. We are incredibly fortunate and grateful!”

Union Mutual is also the proud lead sponsor of the Special Olympics Vermont Summer Games.





Union Mutual of Vermont Companies, founded in 1874, is a property casualty insurance group consisting of Union Mutual Fire Insurance and New England Guaranty Insurance Company Inc., both based in Montpelier, Vermont; and Community Mutual Insurance Company, based in Latham, New York. The three companies write a total of $193 million in direct premium annually through independent agents throughout New England and New York, and are all rated A (Excellent) with a Stable Outlook by A.M. Best.


Special Olympics Vermont is part of a global movement that works year-round to foster the inclusion and acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities by using the power of sport to showcase their gifts and abilities. For more information, visit