Some local kids dove right into ensuring the annual Polar Bear Swim is a success, and in turn are helping kids overseas.
The Zimbabwe Project partnered with Kidston Elementary School this year in creating the art for the annual Polar Bear Swim.
Headquartered in Vernon, The Zimbabwe Project is a nonprofit organization that assists children and families in Zimbabwe by creating opportunities for education, health care and employment through the development of sustainable businesses and community development.
In taking part in a contest to create art for the Polar Bear Swim button, students learned about community, education, and health care needs in Zimbabwe, and disparity in economies of first and third world countries.
“The students responded enthusiastically,” says Zimbabwe Project volunteer Lorna Rosnau. “They learned a little bit about a country where most children don’t have the economic privileges many of them do, and learned they could be a part of a larger project connecting our two countries.”
Kidston Grade 4/5 student Cale Chambers created the winning artwork that will appear on buttons promoting the Polar Bear Swim.
This is the fifth year The Zimbabwe Project has hosted the Polar Bear Swim. Half of the money raised through the swim goes to sustainable projects in Zimbabwe and half stays in the Vernon community.
“And all money raised by The Zimbabwe Project goes directly to investment in community development,” explained director Angela Yablonski. “We are completely run by volunteers, so all community involvement is so appreciated.”
The Annual Polar Bear Swim is on Sunday, Feb. 11, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Kal Beach. Free admission to cheer on the swimmers, $10 per swimmer or $25 for a team of four. All participants are encouraged to wear a “Whimsical Wonderland” costume.
There will be prizes for best costume, music by Sun FM, food from Scott’s Dogs, hot drinks and a fire pit to warm any chilled bodies, especially the swimmers.