Santa Claus will go to great lengths to celebrate the season — even underwater.
Heritage of Green Hills invited the public to watch its third annual hosting of Adaptive Diving Association’s underwater tree lighting on Saturday, Dec. 21.
The ADA has been illuminating trees underwater for more than 20 years.
“I originated the idea of a tree being lit underwater in the late 80s and we have had several learning experiences trying to power the tree in that atmosphere,” said Kenneth Hoser, founder and CEO of Adaptive Diving Association.
“The ADA is a Non-Profit that specializes in training individuals with all types of disabilities, utilizing the zero gravity effects of water to provide freedom that they cannot experience on land,” explained Hoser.
Santa arrived via a Keystone Water Rescue Team boat pulled by emergency response vehicles. As a safety precaution, the Keystone Water Rescue Team of Boyertown was positioned around the pool during the tree lighting.
Santa and his elf helpers hand out candy and cookies to the crowd gathered around the pool as a local musician led everyone in carols.
Santa (Greg Brown) is an Adaptive Diving Association certified SCUBA diver.
Santa entered the pool along with his ADA volunteer helpers.
Santa’s small, compressed air cylinder, designed for this event, along with his breathing regulator, were concealed in his gift sack.
Divers submerged a waterproof, Fiber Optic tree capable of being illuminated underwater with a specialized light source and custom battery power, sealed in its base.
“This is the first time we’ve ever seen a tree lit underwater,” said BreeAnna Carpenter of Birdsboro.
After lighting the tree, ADA divers moved the tree across the length of the pool and placed the illuminated tree on a raised section of the pool.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” said Heritage of Green Hills resident Dennis Sterner. “It was neat.”
“It was better than before,” said Heritage of Green Hills resident Marty Weaver who had attended previous underwater tree lightings.
The Adaptive Diving Association (http://www.adaptivedivingassociation.org) serves the needs of the physically challenged community, ages of 10 and up, and veterans who have suffered physical injuries and emotional trauma (PTSD) which have negatively impacted the quality of their lives.
The Keystone Water Rescue Team of Boyertown (http://kwr16.com) is a full service water rescue team. All team members are technician level swift water rescue certified.