Approximately 60 Saint Mary’s  students, staff, and alumni braved the icy water during the sixth annual “Cardinal Plunge,” held Feb. 7 in coordination with the Winter Carnival Goose Bump Jump in Lake Winona.

More than $5,000 was raised from the plunge and the silent auction. Proceeds will be given to Juliana Piscitiello, a 2006 Saint Mary’s alumna who was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, a genetic, auto-immune disease and a chronic progressive form of arthritis which is destroying her spine. Piscitiello, former part-time faculty member at the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, has enjoyed ballet since the age of 3 and has assisted with dance choreography on campus. Funds will be used to assist with the expense of her ongoing therapy, much of which is needed to reduce the severity of her painful symptoms.

She is the daughter of Kathy and Tony Piscitiello, senior advancement director at Saint Mary’s.

Donations are still being accepted.  Mail donations to Saint Mary’s University, 700 Terrace Heights #21, Winona, Minn., 55987 attention “Cardinal Plunge.”

To see photos from the day, go to

Here is a video from the day:

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