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Polar Bear Jump organizer grateful for community support

3/27/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

I wanted to write to express our thanks to all those who came to support Camp Quality Ohio and Ronald McDonald House of Akron at the 11th annual Portage Lakes Polar Bear Jump Feb 22. We shattered previous records by raising more than $100,000!

The generous support from our VIPBs (Very Important Polar Bears) and local businesses was a defining factor this year. Our two largest donors, Kisling, Nestico & Redick law firm and FirstEnergy Corp./First Energy Foundation, had a friendly battle. With the final numbers too close to call and checks still coming in, so far each has raised over $17,000. Wow!

I think it’s important to realize how important the money is to both charities and give a sense of what our jumpers were able to do with the donations. Every $1,000 will put a child dealing with cancer through a weeklong camp this summer at Camp Quality. With $50,000, we are able to fully endow a room for families at the Ronald McDonald House for life!

It has been 11 years since the beginning of this event, and with over $500,000 given to local charities, its been impressive to see the kindness and generosity of this community. It makes me proud to be a resident of Akron and the Portage Lakes.

Kelly Pariso, co-organizer of the Portage Lakes Polar Bear Jump, Coventry

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