If you’re on Facebook, your newsfeed is filled with friends and strangers dousing themselves with ice cold water, and challenging others to do the same. It is the "Ice Bucket Challenge" and it is everywhere.
While it continues to bring in huge money for different ALS foundations across the globe (ALS is also sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease) since millions are doing it, there were bound to be some who find it childish, ineffective, dangerous, or brilliant. Monday morning I admit, I too did the challenge after being nominated by the CEO of my radio station’s parent company, Westman Communications Group.
Dave Baxter took three buckets of water (mind you they were small) for the cause over a week ago. Why I accepted his challenge and did the ice bucket challenge myself was because Dave also donated $500 on behalf of Westman Communications Group. Because for the dozens of ice buckets going down across Westman, there are many who are not donating to the cause. They simply want to show a video of themselves taking a bucket of cold like a football coach after a game. Entertaining, but isn’t fundraising what this is all about? I know, that sounded like Charlie Brown didn’t it?
In the beginning, Greg Norman challenged NBC anchor Matt Lauer to an ice bucket challenge after some golfers started doing it for any charity. The idea: take the bucket of cold water on your head or donate $100 to a charity of your choice.
Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball player who has ALS himself, took up the challenge on July 29 in the name of ALS research. After that video went viral, millions of videos of ice bucket challenges have been uploaded to Facebook and Twitter, creating one of the most viral fundraising campaigns in years. And although millions of people are taking the challenge without donating, many are. ALS Canada has brought in almost $6 million since July 29 and ALS U.S.A has received more than $70.2 million.
Never in the history of ALS, or in the history of many other charities for that matter, has so much money come in, so quickly. And if you find yourself nominated for the challenge, keep this in mind: originally when you were was nominated you had to donate $100 to a charity within 24 hours or film yourself getting a bucket of ice water dumped on your head, then nominate three others to do the same. But thankfully many people are doing both. Donations followed by water and ice on the melon. Donations range from $10 to $100. Thanks to some listener support on Starfm, we raised $300 for ALS Monday morning before my super pail dump at Rideau Park.
But there are those who object. China has warned citizens against the practice’s "entertainment and commercial tendencies" while the US State Department has forbidden diplomats from participating for fear of favouring particular charities. Canadian TV star Pamela Anderson is among those who refused to take the challenge due to the ALS Association’s alleged animal testing. Catholic leaders in the US have also banned schools from donating to the association since they may allegedly carry out embryonic stem cell research. Leonardo DiCaprio did the challenge, but used the ALS fundraiser to help bring environmental issues to light in the oil sands, while challenging Stephen Harper. Remember Leo, fundraising first, and ice second and done please. Besides, did you not get enough ice-cold water doing Titanic?
Doctors around the world have warned of risks to elderly people, expectant mothers and people with heart conditions. One Chinese health broadcast even warned of potential damage to vertebrae by ice cubes. I wore a hard hat when I did mine. Safety first.
In fact, print the simple reminder below, fold it up, put it in your wallet. If you haven’t been challenged yet, it’s probably just a matter of time.
Here are five tips to make sure you don’t mess it up or hurt yourself, like a lot of people have done.
• Don’t have someone dump the water from a balcony. They’ll end up dropping the whole bucket by mistake. It’s a miracle no one’s been seriously injured yet.
• Don’t do it somewhere slippery. Outside on the grass is perfect. In the shower or in the kitchen is not.
• Don’t use too much water. Remember, you have to be able to lift it over your head.
• Be upbeat about it. In half of the videos you see, the people have zero energy. But it makes for a much better video if you act excited about doing it.
• Make it quick. Don’t spend two minutes talking. People just skip through that part of the video anyway. Unless you’re doing something really creative, you should be able to nominate people AND dump the water on yourself in about 20 seconds.
My favourite IBC video is that of former Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen. No ice, and in fact no water for Charlie. He held a big pan over his head, and when he flipped it over, $10,000 in cash rained down on him. But he wasn’t just being a jerk to mock the whole thing — he’s actually donating all of it. He explained, "Because, let’s face it, ice is going to melt, but this money is going to actually help people."
And that, ladies in gentlemen is really what this is all about. And to quote Mr. Sheen one last time, you gotta admit, with all this attention, ice and water... the ALS society is ‘winning."
JOKE THIS WEEK
Here was a guy who really took care of his body. He lifted weights and jogged six miles every day. One morning he looked into the mirror, admiring his body, and noticed that he was suntanned all over with the exception of his privates.
So he decided to do something about that. He went to the beach, undressed completely, and buried himself in the sand, except for "equipment," which he left sticking out of the sand.
A bit later, two little old ladies came strolling along the beach, one using a cane to help her get along. Upon seeing the thing sticking out of the sand, the lady with the cane began to move it with her cane. Remarking to the other little old lady, she said, "There really is no justice in the world." The other little old lady asked, "What do you mean by that?" The first little old lady replied, "Look at that. When I was 20, I was curious about it. When I was 30, I enjoyed it. When I was 40, I asked for it. When I was 50, I paid for it. When I was 60, I prayed for it. When I was 70, I forgot about it. Now that I’m 80, the damned things are growing wild, and I’m too old to squat."
Mandy J Harvey
Angela Mullin Jackson
Josie Renee Kennedy
Kris D. Lelond
Tina Bedford Tame
Cherish Lee Easton
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 30, 2014