Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Polar Plunge for the Special Olympics

All of Central Florida is in a giving mood, including the Orlando theme parks. A variety of them have been coming up with different ways to get guests to sign up for volunteering programs or donate whatever they could to various charities in the New Year. One theme park joining in on the fun is SeaWorld’s Aquatica. The beautiful water park, which draws its character themes and color schemes from Australian and New Zealand cultures, has quickly become one of the top water parks in the theme park area.

Now Aquatica will be teaming up with the Special Olympics to host their own version of a “Polar Plunge” to raise money for the charity that deals with disabled athletes. The Polar Plunge is a popular event held throughout the country where people raise money on the promise they will jump into a pool of freezing (or at least, really cold) water. It seems like perfect timing for a Polar Plunge, considering Florida has been going through one of the longest, and coldest, cold weather spells in history!

“We’re turning the heaters off in one of wave pools,” says Rick Beddow, Aquatica vice president. “We’re expecting it’s probably going to get somewhere between 65 and 68 degrees. It really depends on the ambient air temperature as to how cold it will get.”

Considering Orlando has seen temperatures in the low 20’s, they might not want to turn the pool down too much! Participants of the Polar Plunge at Aquatica receive a day at the park, a commemorative t-shirt and of course a dip (or swim) in the pool if they raise $50 or more. There are other great goodies for those that raise even more money for the Special Olympics. You can win all day food passes, passes to Aquatica for a later date, Publix gift cards and even hotel stays.
Of course, not everyone would want to jump into the cold water, so you can register online and fundraise as a “Virtual Plunger.” The minimum age to register is 15. If you’re heading to the park, no diving is allowed, but you can certainly go for a swim if you’re ready to brave the cold for a good cause.


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