Saturday, June 4, 2011

Nick Helps Big Brothers Big Sisters Splash Into Summer


Multi-platinum recording artist, actor, television personality, and “Big Brother” Nick Lachey is helping Great Wolf Resorts® (NASDAQ: WOLF), North America’s largest family of indoor waterpark resorts, make a huge splash for a big cause. Lachey is serving as honorary spokesperson for the company’s second annual “World’s Largest Waterslide-athon” being held on June 11 at its eleven Great Wolf Lodge® locations, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting Big Brothers Big Sisters.

A Big Brother himself since 2004 with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles, Lachey is rallying communities nationwide to join in the fun at any of the family-friendly resorts, including Great Wolf Lodge in Mason, OH, a suburb of his Cincinnati hometown. From 11a.m. to 11p.m. on Saturday, June 11, for every guest who takes the plunge down the designated waterslide, Great Wolf Resorts will donate $1 to the mentoring organization (up to $50,000). The money raised from the waterslide-athon, plus other local fundraising activities, will combine for a $250,000 goal, doubling last year’s donation.

“Most people know I have a younger brother Drew, but they don’t know I’ve had a Little Brother mentee which has been a hugely rewarding experience,” said Lachey. “Big Brothers Big Sisters needs mentors, but they also need financial donations to keep the mentoring going strong. This is why I’m excited to be a part of Great Wolf Lodge’s Waterslide-athon, a fantastic event where families can have a great time while raising awareness for an important cause.”

Last year, the waterpark resorts raised more than $125,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters, in addition to setting a Guinness World Record for “longest distance water sliding in 24 hours in multiple venues” – with more than 45,000 Great Wolf Lodge guests sliding a total of more than 3,500 miles.

“We absolutely fell in love with Waterslide-athon; it perfectly embodies our relationship with Big Brothers Big Sisters by turning the simplest thing that occurs in our waterparks thousands of times each day, into the one thing our charity partner needs most – financial support,” said Kim Schaefer, CEO of Great Wolf Resorts. “When we saw the enthusiasm from our guests and employees as they rallied behind last year’s event, we knew we had to do it again.”

Increased funding will allow Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation’s largest donor-funded network of volunteer mentors, to carefully make more mentoring matches and provide ongoing support to the volunteers, mentees and their families to help sustain the long-term, successful relationships unique to its programs.

While the daytime event is for guests only, the general public is invited to join in the fun beginning at 9 p.m. for “Waterpark in the Dark.” This afterhours event will allow families to buy special wristbands, then enjoy the waterpark until midnight to help wrap up the waterslide-athon. All proceeds from Waterpark in the Dark will help Great Wolf Lodge reach that $250,000 donation goal to Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Great Wolf Lodge also has a way for everyone to slide along from home. For anyone who would like to participate but can’t attend, they can enjoy the virtual waterslide-athon on the Great Wolf Lodge Facebook page. Visitors to the site can “slide,” then make a donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters. The virtual waterslide-athon will be live June 6 through June 11.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters holds itself accountable for helping children who face adversity achieve positive, measurable outcomes, including educational success, higher aspirations and confidence, improved relationships and avoidance of risky behaviors,” said Karen J. Mathis, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters. “We thank our partners at Great Wolf Resorts for their continued commitment to our organization and are grateful to Nick Lachey for his mentorship and advocacy to gain support for the children, families and communities we serve.”

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