September 26, 2020

BY HEATHER KENNERY

Why would anyone want to jump into a pool filled with bone-chilling water? For charity of course. On Jan. 26 at 10 a.m. in Waterloo Town Square people will be taking the dip at the K-W Polar Plunge.

This annual event features people 18 years and older jumping into a four-foot deep pool filled with cold water. This year all donations will be given to KidsAbility, a local organization that provides rehabilitation service for children with special needs.

According to their website the organization was started in 1957 by the Rotary Club of Kitchener-Waterloo which opened the KW Rotary Children’s Centre. It functioned as a treatment centre for local crippled children.

After many decades of serving the community, the Rotary Club completed construction in 1995 of a much larger and better equipped centre in Waterloo. They later changed the name to KidsAbility Centre for Child Development.

The centre provides therapy and medical support for children and youth who have developmental delays, communication delays and disabilities, and physical disabilities. By providing services such as speech and language therapy, physiotherapy and mobility services they are able to reach a broad spectrum of children and help them “reach their full potential.”

“We are happy to support KidsAbility because they are a local organization that supports so many families,” said Greg Lehman, one of the event founders. “Last year they had over 5,000 kids go through their program. We know that we are making a difference by helping them.”

The K-W Polar Plunge hopes to reach at least $5,000 in donations this year and get at least 50 people to take the plunge.

There is still time to get involved.

You can make a donation at www.kwpolar.com or you can take the plunge by raising a minimum of $50 and registering online. For anyone who wants to enjoy their own warmth and watch, there will also be hot drinks, cookies, face painting and live performances.