Fundraising Participants Bracing for Polar Pool Plunge on Saturday at Wachusett Mountain Ski Resort
Freezin’ for a Reason event to raise money for Camp Sunshine, a one-of-a-kind retreat in Maine for children with life-threatening diseases and their families
PRINCETON, Mass. (January 20, 2015) – Participants in Saturday’s sixth annual Wachusett Mountain Polar Dip will plunge into a special outdoor Polar Pool to raise money to send more Massachusetts families to Camp Sunshine.
The Jan. 24 fundraising event will test the mettle of the polar plungers who must jump into a pool filled with ice-cold water outside the base lodge of the Wachusett Mountain Ski Resort, located off Route 140 in Princeton, Mass. Registration begins at noon with the plunge set for 2 p.m.
Camp Sunshine is a one-of-a-kind national retreat in Maine for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. The Wachusett Mountain Polar Dip partners with TeamRaiser, a popular online fundraising platform, to make it easy to participate. To donate online, form or join a team, visit www.freezinforareason.com. For more information, call (207) 655-3800.
Organizers have set a goal to raise $40,000 – enough to send more than 20 families from Massachusetts to Camp Sunshine (www.campsunshine.org). Each participant who raises at least $100 in pledges for Camp Sunshine will receive an “I DID IT!” t-shirt.
“The Polar Pool is filled from the same water source used for Wachusett snowmaking, so it’s going to be one of the coldest plunges anywhere,” said Michael Smith, Camp Sunshine’s Director of Special Events. “The discomfort our plungers feel for just a moment will never compare to what our families go through during the course of their child’s illness, that’s why we call it Freezin’ for a Reason.”
Those unable or not willing to submerge in near-freezing water can still participate in the Chicken Dip. Chicken dippers are still required to raise the minimum of $100 to participate, but only need to get their feet wet – a perfect opportunity for some of Camp Sunshine’s children to take part, Smith said.
Nestled alongside the shores of beautiful Sebago Lake in Casco, Maine, Camp Sunshine (www.campsunshine.org) offers children with life-threatening illnesses and their families a place to relax together for a week and to take a break from the extraordinary demands placed on them on a daily basis.
The year-round program is free of charge and staffed almost entirely by volunteers. It is the only program in the nation whose mission is to address the impact of a life-threatening illness on every member of the immediate family.
Since Camp Sunshine opened in 1984, approximately 25 percent of the families served have come from Massachusetts. In fact, in 2013 alone 148 Massachusetts families participated. Sadly, even with multiple sessions being added annually at Camp Sunshine, there are still many more children from Massachusetts being newly diagnosed each year, Smith said.
Camp Sunshine’s program continues to be recommended by the following Massachusetts treatment centers: Children’s Hospital Boston, Boston University Medical Center, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Floating Hospital for Children at New England Medical Center, MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Baystate Medical Center Children’s Hospital, and UMass Memorial Medical Center.
About Wachusett Mountain Ski Area
The Wachusett Mountain Ski Area (www.wachusett.com), located on Mount Wachusett, features skiing and snowboarding on 22 trails for all abilities, serviced by eight lifts. The popular resort, located an hour west of Boston, boasts 100 percent snow-making capacity.
About Camp Sunshine
Camp Sunshine is a year-round retreat, which provides respite, support, joy, and hope to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families through various stages of a child’s illness. The program is free of charge to all families, and includes 24-hour on-site medical and psychosocial support. Bereavement groups are also offered for families who have lost a child to an illness. To support Camp Sunshine, call (207) 655-3800 or visit www.campsunshine.org.
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Photos from prior Wachusett Mountain Polar Dips
Here is more news and information about Camp Sunshine
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