Locals rise to ice challenge

CHLOE WINTER
Last updated 08:59 15/07/2014
Grant McCallum
TAKING THE PLUNGE: Blenheim women Cat Marsh and Melissa Withers were nominated for the Ice Water Challenge on Sunday.

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Marlborough Cancer Society has received its first donation as Marlburians catch on to the craze of tipping buckets of ice-cold water over themselves to raise money for cancer.

The Ice Water Challenge went viral on social media last month and has raised thousands of dollars for the Cancer Society of New Zealand.

People have been filmed having buckets of ice-water tipped on them after being nominated by friends on Facebook. The ice water replicates the feeling of someone receiving chemotherapy.

Marlborough Cancer Society fund raising manager Zoe Gray said the Marlborough office received its first $20 donation on Friday.

Since then, another three people had donated money, Gray said.

"I don't know who initiated it but it's amazing and the results are coming in donations . . . we are very grateful."

Gray said she was oblivious to the challenge until the first donation was made.

The challenge had gone far beyond what she imagined. "It's gone really crazy. They are very brave people.

"When I was speaking with my colleagues they said it was making its way down the South Island and some centres [in the North Island] had received up to $20,000 in donations."

Blenheim woman Melissa Withers took the plunge on Sunday.

"It was really freezing but I did it."

Withers was nominated by a friend on Facebook, so she and another friend, Cat Marsh decided to take the challenge together, she said.

Withers said she wanted to help raise awareness of cancer.

"We've all got someone we know, I had a family member that died of cancer so I think everyone has a personal connection or knows someone who has been through it."

A givealittle page has been set up for the challenge, which has raised $13,400 - far surpassing the goal of $5000.

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- The Marlborough Express

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