Paulinian Dares Glacial Dip for Dollars

Marilyn Abalos, National Chair of St. Paul Manila Alumnae USA, kicked off the New Year by dipping for dollars with hundreds of polar bears and dozens of penguins at Coney Island, New York on New Year’s Day.  She chilled for cash in the freezing waters of the Atlantic to benefit St. Paul University.  Donations would go to the Alumnae’s Fluer-de-Lis Fund to support education scholarships, music therapy center and community projects. 


Marilyn shivered in the ice cold sea for almost seven minutes – breaking her previous year’s record of 2:34 minutes.  Better equipped with a wet suit and driver’s boots, she was able to surpass her goal of 5 minutes in the ocean.  Explaining she said, “I had a donor who pledged $100 per minute if I stayed in the frigid ocean for at least 5 minutes – so I had to endure.”  (Other donations and pledges have ranged from $10 to $20 per minute). 


The shock of the cold water brought to mind the urgent need to support a Paulinian education.  “Let’s make sure that no student at St. Paul is left out in the cold with no education, no opportunities for a better life,” she said, “St. Paul has kept my head above water and warmed my heart!”


Marilyn pointed out that among the educational initiatives SPMA USA supports is the Senior High School Program.  She cited that the Philippines is the last country in Asia and only one of 3 countries in the world who still has a 10 year elementary and secondary school cycles.  The Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 has mandated all schools in the Philippines to offer 12 years of schooling in order to provide quality education that is globally competitive at par with international standards as well as expand high school education for college preparation, vocational and technical career opportunities. 


St. Paul University is working to comply with Philippine education reforms to improve schooling in the Philippines.  SPMA USA supports St. Paul’s Senior High School program to enable students to complete secondary education.  “Like St. Paul, our Patron, let us be daring,” said Sister Rosanne, St. Paul University President, “and together bring the Good News for ALL!”