WildPlay Nanaimo is calling on exhibitionists and mental health supporters alike to come out and bare all for a good cause: the fifth annual Naked Bungy fundraising event, Mar 5 – 6, 2011.
On Saturday, March 5 and Sunday, March 6, those brave (and bare!) enough to take the leap (or watch) are invited to go naked bungy jumping in order to raise funds for the British Columbia Schizophrenia Society, a non-profit organization that delivers programs to youth, increases awareness for mental illness and provides family support services.
“This is an eye-opening event that brings some much-needed awareness to schizophrenia,” said Tom Benson, co-owner and chief experience officer at WildPlay. “Many people are uncomfortable talking about mental illnesses, but, just like naked bungy jumping, one way to broach the issue is to put everything on the table.”
The event runs daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the WildPlay Nanaimo location (35 Nanaimo River Road). Bungy Jumpers are encouraged to sign up ahead of time by calling 1-888-716-7374, as spots sell out quickly. Prices are $35 (pre-reserved jumps), $45 (walk-in jumps), $99.99 (nearly naked jumps), and $15 (too shy, just watching jumps). All pledges will be matched by an anonymous event donor. Spectators must be 18 years or older.
According to a national study, about one in every 10 Canadians lives with schizophrenia with the average onset occurring in early adulthood. “The bungy jump experience is about empowerment. I found it very liberating and I love the experience,” boasts one past participant, “…it is an extreme way of getting rid of stigma and victimization while showing freedom and independence. It’s the freedom to think and make choices on my own while contributing to my community and I’m very thankful to all the others who come out to help support this cause.”
Last year, the Naked Bungy saw 192 jumpers and raised a total of $12,000 – an amount that WildPlay hopes to beat this year. “Even though we sold out last year, we can still raise more funds through increasing spectators, pledges and retail sales,” said Benson. “Good thing that here at WildPlay we’re always up for a challenge.”