Waterfront: February 2006

Aq 206 17pg 0001

It's A Wonderful Life Come To Life

Online friends help arthritic girl and family buy hot tub.

Whether they're digging someone out of a snow drift or a pile of rubble, rescue dogs save lives every day. To 8-year-old Jordyn Heinz, who was diagnosed at age 2 with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, her pet rabbit Sebastian is much like a rescue dog in the way the American fuzzy lop rabbit has connected Jordyn and her family with a community of very generous people. Jordyn and her mom, Kristine, are members of the Bunny Forum, an online group of bunny lovers who recently rallied to raise money so Jordyn and her family could buy a hot tub.

Most of the people on the Forum who donated have never met the Heinzes. "But they have known that my family has had some real serious medical blows over the last couple of years," says Kristine. "I have lupus and fibromyalgia, my husband is diabetic, and we have another daughter that also has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. I also battled the symptoms of West Nile virus for about year and a half."

To make matters even worse, the self-employed Heinzes were also selfinsured and have spent about $75,000 on medical expenses in the past three years.

"So the people on the forum knew we were really struggling financially and emotionally," says Kristine. "They were kind of going through this hard time with us. They're like a second family to us. So when Jordyn came out of remission in July, they knew it was a really hard blow. Raising the money was their way of trying to help, and it's just been really awesome."

The Heinzes wanted to put down the donated money, totaling about $1,100, toward a new hot tub, but could not afford a monthly payment. So AQUA 100 Hall of Famer Ultra Modern Pool and Patio in Wichita, Kan., helped out by providing a reconditioned HotSpring Spa and a cover at cost for $1,100.

"This story just goes to show the good in people," says Kristine. "It's really cool how it all happened."

Buckle Up For Bubbles

Relax during the L.A. commute in a hot tub.

Los Angeles traffic is legendary — the congestion, the road rage, the stress. What better way to alleviate all that than a relaxing soak in your spa on the way to work. L.A. is home to 14 automobile design studios, and as part of the L.A. Auto Show, held in January, automakers were given the opportunity to present their weirdest, wackiest, most creative ideas in the Design Challenge. Honda submitted the "Jacarzzi," for people who live on the roadways. "The design challenge gives local automobile designers an open arena for them to craft designs that replicate their interpretation of the Los Angeles landscape, with all of the freedom and excess that they chose to incorporate into their entries," says Chuck Pelly, conference director for Design Los Angeles. Other creative entries include a car that doubles as an urban loft and one powered by hydrogen and in-wheel electric motors. No winner had been chosen as AQUA went to press, but the Jacarzzi seems a clear winner to us.

A "Brilliant" Blast From The Past

Rice Krispies has Snap, Crackle and Pop; Pillsbury has its oh-sosqueezable doughboy, Poppin' Fresh; and from 1979 to 1985, this little darling, Gilby, was the face of GLB. "As I recall at the time the use of attractive and scantily clad women in trade advertising was being frowned upon," says John Puetz, the vice president of research and development at Advantis Technologies. "It simply did not reflect a family-wholesome attitude."

So GLB introduced Gilby and, says Puetz, "She appeared in all trade press with a tag line 'Gilby says…' She was also on store banners, ceiling danglers, shelf shouters, pamphlets full of helpful hints, large calendars that would hang in offices and stores, etc."

Gilby, and many other GLB images from former ad campaigns, recently reappeared in a display at the Advantis trade show booth as part of GLB's 50th Anniversary celebration. "There was one gentleman who stopped by the booth from the UK who vividly remembered Gilby's campaign and called her 'brilliant,'" says Jana Wright, communications manager at Advantis. 

Full Steam Ahead

Jacuzzi-sponsored marathon of the Palm Beaches a Success.

One of the greatest things about owning a spa is soaking tired muscles in the warm, soothing water, and no one's muscles are more tired or sore than someone who has just run a marathon. West Palm Beach, Fla.-headquartered Jacuzzi Brands decided the partnership was a natural, and sponsored the second annual Marathon of the Palm Beaches, held on Dec. 4, 2005.

This was the first year Jacuzzi sponsored the race and Dennis Grady, president of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, said it went off without a hitch. "The race was a great success and we couldn't have selected a better corporate partner than Jacuzzi," he says. "They were actively involved in the planning and development of the race, and many of their employees and associates ran in the event."

Cool temperatures and sunny skies set the stage for the approximately 3,500 runners from 41 states and 17 countries.

Simon Sawe, 31, of Kenya, won the men's race with a time of 2:18:31, breaking the 2:19:18 course record set by fellow Kenyan Charles Kibiwot in 2004. Tatiana Belovol, 36, of Ukraine placed first among women with a time of 2:44:32.

Lounging In The Lager

Alpine resort boasts giant beer baths.

Not just the stuff of dreams, AQUA has unearthed news of pools filled with beer, purely for medicinal purposes, of course. The Starkenber Beer Myth Resort, in a medieval castle in the Tirol region of Austria, offers guests a pure beer bath in swimming pools filled with 42,000 pints of beer.

The resort, which has filled seven 13-foot-long swimming pools with beer, claims that the yeast in the lager has successfully been used for centuries to treat psoriasis, other skin diseases and open wounds. The resort also claims that the carbon dioxide in the beer softens the skin. "I would rather swim than swallow, as we serve enough of a cold, fresh tapped beer in the bars next to the pools," said Starkenber manager Markus Amann, to the U.K. paper The Sun: . Considering what the pools are used for, that's probably a good idea.

Pool Time For School Time

Australian aboriginal community reaps benefits of pool.

A host of social ills plagues many aboriginal communities in Australia, including poverty, unemployment and poor health. Communities are often isolated and marginalized in mainstream Australian society, leaving residents with few choices.

But in Ngukurr, a 150-resident aboriginal community in Australia's Northern Territory, a swimming pool is bringing change to the lives of many children who live there.

Australia's ABC Online service reported last year about the pool at Ngukurr and what kind of impact it's having.

"Every morning, the kids at Ngukurr can't wait for the community swimming pool to open," says Anne Barker, an ABC Online reporter. "It's school holidays, and a team of swimming coaches is visiting from Sydney, to teach the young people here about exercise and nutrition. After a quick warm-up routine, it's into the water."

The swimming classes are part of a broader swimming program that is attempting to transform the lives of Ngukurr's children. Two years ago the local school instituted a "no school, no pool" program to get more kids to class, and to combat the high truancy rate. According to Barker, the program has already been a success in the community, with the number of kids regularly attending class jumping from 45 percent in 2001 to nearly 70 percent today.

The program is the brainchild of a Sydney law student and former Commonwealth Games hopeful, Kate Brennan, who visited several indigenous communities in 2004 as part of her studies. She saw sports as a way to promote better health and build self-esteem.

"What we want to achieve is a sense of hope in the future for the kids and a sense of engagement in their community," says Brennan.

The pool's chlorinated water has also helped clear up hygienerelated issues that are rampant in many indigenous communities. "The rate of scabies and trachoma in particular have almost disappeared at Ngukurr," says Barker. "Kate Brennan and her coaches are hoping to spread their swimming mantra well beyond Ngukurr, and if the kids here are any guide, she's confident other indigenous children will have the same enthusiasm for the water."

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