Ice water challenge proving cool

Last updated 08:13 10/07/2014
Donnalee Biddle tips ice water over her head.
BRUCE MERCER / Fairfax NZ
Donnalee Biddle, from Hamilton, tips a bucket of ice cold water over her head for the Ice Water Challenge, the latest Facebook craze.

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The latest Facebook craze has caused a run on ice, a rash of charity donations, and a lot of blue lips.

The Ice Water Challenge dares people to plunge themselves in, or be poured over, with freezing cold water, be filmed doing it, post it to Facebook and then nominate others to follow suit. If you take on the challenge you have the honour of donating $20 to a chosen charity, and if you chicken out, you're asked to pay $100.

In usual Kiwi-style, some New Zealanders have added downing a beer to the ritual.

A Facebook page which pulls together those around New Zealand who have taken the challenge has nearly 8500 likes and there are more than 100 videos of ice challengers awaiting upload.

The challenge is proving so popular that some supermarkets have noticed an unusual amount of ice flying out the door since Monday.

"We thought it might have been a supply issue but it appears it was just selling a lot faster than usual ... I haven't got any numbers in front of me, but all I know is that the freezer was empty and we didn't have any out the back," Pak 'n Save Porirua general manger Garrod Brader said.

He was talking with buyers about upping the ice order but there was no telling how long the craze would last, he said.
Although he was reluctant to take the challenge himself, plenty of his staff had conquered it, he said.

Butchery manager Paul James was nominated by a colleague and had happily passed on the dare to three others.

"It's got quite viral on Facebook, a lot of people are doing it now. I don't know where it's come from, but I don't think it was started in New Zealand."

He likens the experience to diving in the ocean in wintertime without a hood - the water he chucked over himself was down to 4C.

"It was very cold, numbness actually, numbness in the head."

Cancer Society spokeswoman Lynne St.Clair-Chapman said more than $40,000 in donations have come in since Friday, and it's still coming.

"It's a huge boost to our funding and money we weren't expecting to come in. That allows us to do some extra things that we perhaps wouldn't been able to do, maybe areas where we're pushing up hill to get things done, that's perhaps an opportunity to do that."

St.Clair-Chapman said the Ice Water Challenge was not a Cancer Society initiative, but New Zealanders seem to have made cancer their cause of choice and it was of great benefit to the charities.

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CanTeen has also reported a substantial bump, with $10,000 in online donations since Monday.

- Taieri Herald

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