Donations spur staff's dunking
The clouds parted and the sun beamed down in perfect timing as Manawatu Cancer Society staff were drenched in the freezing cold water of the ice challenge on one of the chilliest days of winter so far.
Six staff members from Palmerston North Cancer Society joined in the social media craze yesterday, donning shower caps and having buckets of icy water tipped on their heads at the side of Ruahine St, to say thank you to the region for more than $50,000 of donations.
The ice challenge requires people to stand in a bucket of ice water, tip two buckets of ice water on their head, followed by the standing bucket of ice water, and then make a donation to a charity of their choice.
In the central division, which encompasses Manawatu, Taranaki, Whanganui, and Hawke's Bay, more than 1900 donations have been made to the Cancer Society, equating to about $52,000.
Jo Priestley, who organised the event and took part, said the generosity of those who had donated was "mindblowing".
"It's basically just to say thank you, we were sitting in our lovely warm office and thought we should get out there and say thanks by doing something like this."
All of the money donated will stay within the central region and will go towards accommodation, meals, driver transport, counselling and other services for cancer patients, Priestley said.
"It will allow us to help so many more people. It's incredibly generous."
Manawatu Cancer Society centre manager Chris Franklyn, who couldn't feel his toes after the ice challenge, said it was amazing so many people had got behind the social media campaign, which was not initiated by the Cancer Society itself.
"It's a great result," Franklyn said.
"We really appreciate everyone and what they're doing, and we challenge every other Cancer Society to get out there and do this as well to show some community support."
Cancer patient Lou Leef, who joined other patients in the challenge by tipping the buckets of ice, said the money raised by the event was fantastic.
Leef said he was grateful so many people had got behind the cause.
The group picked a tough time to do the challenge, with the day reaching a high of only 9 degrees Celsius.