In its 16th year of celebrating life after injury and changing lives through adaptive diving the Dive Pirates Foundation found a fun way to continue one of its trip traditions while awaiting the lifting of travel restrictions which delayed the annual trip to Cayman Brac.
“This year we’ve kicked off the ‘Virtual Deep Down Challenge’ asking our recipients, members, and anyone who would like to play along to take a picture of how they are celebrating diving while landlocked, be creative with it, and use it to launch their own online fundraiser,” said Dive Pirates President and Co-Founder Sophie Wimberley.
Usually this time of year the Foundation hosts a large trip to Cayman Brac Beach Resort and Reef Divers II with its annual recipients (adaptive scuba divers), returning recipients, friends, supporters and family; a total crew of approximately 75 people of all abilities welcoming new recipients to the fold and rallying around them as they complete their open water certifications and explore the underwater world uninhibited by mobility issues on land.
Leading up to the trip, trip-goers rally to fundraise to pay the adventure forward and dedicate one dive to honor the pledges received in their name. This year the Foundation is keeping connected with its base while inviting the world to join in the fun.
“There will be a prize for the most creative picture, so make us laugh! Be sure to include #DivePiratesWanderlust, and we just ask that if you use your shower, tub, sprinkler, etcetera to be safety conscious, and by all means remained clothed,” Wimberley mused after taking to her pool last week with fins on, Dive Pirates rash guard, head phones and a strategically- placed laptop to take conference calls.
The challenge runs now through July 16, 2020 and prizes for playing include:Best Photo: $100 coupon to the Dive Pirates Store. Raise $250 or more: Receive a Dive Pirates mask to cover your booty! Raise the most by July 16th: Win an Aqualung i200c Dive Computer. Raise the most as a team: Win a limited run trip shirt honoring the 2020 postponed trip. (teams up to 12 people allowed) Participate in any way and receive 10% off the Dive Pirates Store.
Those participating are creating individual fundraisers on their Facebook Pages, using the virtual dive event fundraiser on the Foundation’s Facebook page, or uploading their photos and pledges on the Dive Pirates Foundation website.
The following dive centers have Dive Pirate recipients who will directly benefit from this effort:
Diventures (SSI) – training Sgt. Melissa Nueva and Jennifer Radil and their adaptive buddies
WaterDogs (PADI/HSA) — training Jared Davis and is adaptive buddy team
GR8 DIVN (SSI) — training Sgt. Kamron Lopez, Jason Kelly and Sean Conroy and their adaptive buddies
Ocean Enterprises (PADI/DDI/HSA) — training Lance Cpl. Kenta Otawa and his adaptive buddy
Dive Pirates Training School (RAID) — training Gabriel Yammine, Scott Dunkel, Debbie Taylor, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Darrell Taylor
Dive Masters (RAID/SSI) — training Scott Wilson and his adaptive dive buddy
Denver Divers (SSI) — training Cpl. Jim Roos and his adaptive buddy
International Scuba (PADI/HSA) training Dr. Danni McMahon and Joshua Hamilton and their adaptive buddies
Dive Georgia (PADI/HSA) — training SSgt. Derrick McMillon and his adaptive dive buddy
For the stories behind these amazing men and women who have overcome so much and strive to enjoy a fulfilling life with their spouses, family and friends, and about the dive centers who welcome them into the mainstream world of scuba go to divepirates.org.