To the delight of Rotorua children, Harold the Giraffe made an appearance at Eat Streat today for the launch of his icy cold annual fundraiser.

Life Education Trust Rotorua's Dunk for Harold will see locals plunge into icy cold water on June 24.

While the fundraiser has traditionally been held at Tikitapu (Blue Lake), this year it will be at the Rotorua Aquatic Centre's outdoor pool so more people could take part.

Berni Volschenk, Life Education Trust Rotorua educator in the mobile classroom, said it would be a lovely atmosphere, with the event including a sausage sizzle and spot prizes.

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"Weird and wacky" costumes are welcome and encouraged to be worn before the plunge, but cannot be worn in the pool.

There are three costume categories - capes, coats and contraptions.

People can enter as individuals or in teams, and get sponsorship for their dunk.

Life Education provides Rotorua children with the knowledge and skills to lead healthier lives.

(Clockwise from left) Toby Williams, 8, Ella Aldridge, 6, Alana Thomson, 6, Ella Williams, 10, and Oli Keddie, 5, meet Harold the Giraffe. Photo/Ben Fraser
(Clockwise from left) Toby Williams, 8, Ella Aldridge, 6, Alana Thomson, 6, Ella Williams, 10, and Oli Keddie, 5, meet Harold the Giraffe. Photo/Ben Fraser

The programme is not government funded and relies on fundraising efforts.

Volschenk said Harold visited every school in Rotorua and saw 6000 children every year.

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"He's a busy fellow. His message about living a healthy lifestyle is important."

Toby Williams, 8, and Ella Williams, 10, said they had not done Dunk for Harold before and wanted to do it this year for fun.

They said they were looking forward to diving in the water and swimming, because they liked splashing around.

Alana Thomson, 6, said she had done Dunk for Harold before with her brothers when she was 3-years-old and had dressed up as Lego for the event.

"We had to run into the water and it was very cold."

She said she was looking forward to doing the dunk this year.

Harold had also visited her school, St Mary's Catholic School, and taught them about eating healthy.

She said Harold was friendly and it was fun when he came to school.

Those who would like to enter for Dunk for Harold can go to the Life Education Trust Rotorua Facebook page, leave a comment, and the trust will get in touch.

The Details:
- What: Dunk for Harold
- When: June 24, 10am to 12pm
- Where: Rotorua Aquatic Centre