You may have noticed a new trend sweeping social media this week that involves getting chilly for charity. The ice bucket challenge was started by Massachusetts resident Pete Frates who has been living with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) since 2012, in the hopes of spreading awareness and raising money for ALS research to find a cure. He started the challenge with friends and family and since then it has become incredibly widespread, even reaching celebrities like Martha Stewart, Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timerberlake, Jennifer Morrison, Elizabeth Banks and even entire NHL hockey teams. Once nominated, the nominee has 24 hours to complete the challenge and nominate others to take party or must make a donation instead. Many people have been taking part in the challenge as well as donating.
Most people would ask how dumping a bucket of ice water on your head helps raise money and/or awareness for a disease; the numbers speak for themselves. It’s surprising what can happen when something goes viral, and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is no exception. This week last year, donations totalled $14,000. That’s not bad, but this past week has seen over $168,000 in donations and a large part of that is thanks to the ice bucket challenge. If you’d like to donate to ALS research it’s incredibly simple, just visit http://www.als.ca/donate
Of course celebrities and sports stars aren’t the only people taking on this challenge, the majority of the participants are just ordinary citizens like you and me.. and I literally mean me. A good friend of mine from the US nominated me on Tuesday evening to take part in the challenge, and I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge. I’m also more of the ‘go big or go home’ type, so I asked another good friend to help me out. Marty the Marmot is the mascot for our local hockey team, the Victoria Royals. He’s also internationally famous as Mascot Insider’s Mascot of the Year, beating out mascots from much larger teams in the NHL, NBA and NFL. I’ve had the pleasure of volunteering alongside Marty several times in the past year and when I was nominated I just had to ask for his help in making my video. Luckily the Saanich Parks event he was attending (Music in the Park at Rutledge Park, every Tuesday night in August) was also attended by Ace, Saanich PD’s K9 mascot, so I had help from both of them for this challenge.
Ready to see the video of it happening? I’ll warn you it’s quite loud; the live band at Music in the Park was awesome, and my camera’s microphone couldn’t quite compete so it’s hard to hear me. As this was a personal challenge I nominated three friends to take part during this video, but I’m happy to pose the challenge to other Premiere offices across Canada. Anyone out there willing to get soaked for a good cause?
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