WESTFIELD-Everyone remembers the joy of creating our own snow angels and now organizers of the annual Amelia Park Children’s Museum Penguin Plunge are hoping that children — and those young at heart – will want to shift gears a little because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Rather than holding a socially distant Penguin Plunge, we decided to go virtual this year,” said Ray Radigan, executive director of the Amelia Park Children’s Museum (APCM).
Radigan said the pivot to the 2021 Snow Angel Plunge was inspired by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge a few years ago. The challenge went viral during the summer of 2014, raising funds for research and development for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).
“We looked for something in the spirit of the Penguin Plunge that would be easy for people to do on their own,” said Radigan.
The rules are simple, notes Radigan.
“Get dolled-up in your funkiest costume (not totally necessary, but definitely encouraged),” said Radigan, adding, “Head outside and take a quick video of yourself making a snow angel, and post it on Instagram and/or Facebook with the hashtag #snowangelplunge.”
Radigan is also encouraging participants to challenge friends and family to join in the fun.
For persons who might not be as computer savvy as others, Radigan said another option is to send a photograph or video to [email protected] and the museum staff will be able to share them on social media.
For 16 years, the Penguin Plunge had drawn an average of 50 participants annually and Radigan is hoping with this new twist in the 17th year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, more area residents will participate in the fun event.
“The event is run by the leadership and board of directors at the museum with the generous support of businesses and individuals throughout the community,” said Radigan.
Sponsors include Westfield Gas & Electric, Whip City Fiber, Heka Health & Relaxation, ProAmpac, John Carlo Woodworking, Westfield Feed, Advance Mfg. Co., Inc., Air Compressor Engineering Co., Inc., Betts Plumbing and Heating Supply, Inc., WEPCO, Aero Fastener, Flowers by Webster, and Dillon Bodley & Associates, PC.
The deadline to make a donation of $10 or more is March 7 and to be entered to win $200 in “cold hard cash,” notes Radigan, adding videos can be shared and donations will still be welcome after March 7.
“Two winners will be chosen at random for the $200 cash giveaway and the winner of the Individual Best Costume Award will also receive $100 in cold hard cash,” he said.
Radigan said all proceeds raised from the fundraiser benefit the interactive, hands-on fun and learning museum.
“Instead of hosting an annual gala where people put on their Sunday best, eat hors d’oeuvres and listen to speeches, we encourage people to harness their inner child – that part of them that still wants to play in the snow or to wear a silly costume,” said Radigan. “By making a donation, you help ensure that children will be able to continue learning through play at Amelia Park Children’s Museum. And, in turn, we give you an excuse to play in the snow while wearing a tutu. Everybody wins!”
For complete details and forms, visit ameliaparkmuseum.org or call (413) 572-4014.