What would you do to promote finding the cause and cure of a life-destroying disease? Would you donate a few bucks? Would you dedicate your life to research? Would you jump into freezing-cold water up to your chin, thereby immersing all your tender private parts, effectively chilling you to the bone? The second annual Subzero Heroes Ice Jump, organized by the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, will give you that opportunity on Saturday, February 11 at Freedom Lake near LaGrange. The frigid fundraiser will bring much-needed funds to research efforts and awareness of the disease to those of us who would rather not think about it. But think we must: By 2050, experts predict that there will be as many as 16 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition to recruiting volunteers to support research studies pertaining to this disease and other related dementias, the Association offers people with Alzheimer’s, their caregivers, families and physicians a variety of services: a help line, care consultation, support groups, message boards, educational programs, professional training and local resources and referrals. The challenges are great, but every small contribution counts. When you register for the Subzero Heroes Ice Jump, you’re joining volunteers who are diving headfirst into the fight against this devastating disease.
Karen Skelton, regional administrator for the Association’s Ulster and Dutchess County offices, credits one of her volunteers with the idea for the Ice Jump, which drew 20 participants last year to raise a quick $8,000. “It was a big deal, thrown together in a few weeks. Imagine what we can raise with 100 jumpers! We already have some really interesting people jumping this year, like three generations from one family; people who’ve raised thousands of dollars on their own; and how about a local radio personality in a Speedo!” (That’s Bob Miller of 92.9 WBPM.) Other sponsors include Ameet K. Goyal, MD, Bellizzi Jewelers, Best Buy, Ecosystem Strategies, Pizza Village, Rutberg Personal Injury Law, Take 5 Deli and TLC Laser Eye Centers.
Recent warm temperatures might alter conditions this year. Instead of walking to the edge of the ice to make the leap, the Superheroes will plunge out into the water to grab a flag before they emerge victorious. The Superhero theme allows for each participant to bring an official Sidekick (think Batman and Robin) to wrap you in a warm, dry blanket, help get your shivering body dressed and generally lend you moral support. Your Sidekick can also help raise funds in your name and lead your friends and family in lakeside cheering.
To register, pledge your first $100 and you’ll be set up with your own website for further contributions. Then psych yourself up for the plunge by checking out the Subzero Heroes video from last year at https://vimeo.com/20814286.
Be reassured that the Ulster County Sheriff’s Dive Team will be on hand to assist jumpers. All funds raised for this event will be attributed to the 2012 Walk to End Alzheimer’s Event in the fall of 2012. The Alzheimer’s Association Hudson Valley/Rockland/Westchester, New York Chapter is located at 2 Jefferson Plaza, Suite 103 in Poughkeepsie. For more information call (800) 872-0994 or visit www.subzeroheroes.org.