Icy challenge is funding cancer fight

Facebook craze proving a cool hit

DONNA-LEE BIDDLE
Last updated 09:50 10/07/2014
ice challenge
BRUCE MERCER/Fairfax NZ

MAKING A SPLASH: Our Waikato Times intern Donna-Lee Biddle takes up the challenge.

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Retailers in South Waikato are running out of ice, thanks to the latest cancer campaign, and distributors are welcoming the extra business.

The Ice Challenge, in which someone is submerged in ice water or has ice tipped over them, has gone viral on social media.

Classic Ice owner Peter Saunders distributes ice to the Bay of Plenty and South Waikato.

"We've had to deliver a few thousand extra bags of ice, and we didn't expect it, but it's great for the business."

Z Energy at Tokoroa has just one bag of ice left - unusual for winter - and Tokoroa New World ordered an extra pallet of ice after running out.

Tokoroa's Nick Handcock, second in charge of the chilled and frozen department at New World, said close to 100 bags had been sold since the weekend.

"I've worked here for nine years and I've never seen this before. Bags [of ice] are flying out the door, I just got in 150 bags today."

The challenge varies in different countries.

Generally, people have between 24 and 48 hours to complete the task, nominate three others to do it, and then donate $10 to cancer.

If the challenge is not completed, the participant donates $100.

The Waikato Cancer Society is benefiting from the social-media craze. Its communications co-ordinator, Sarah Fitzpatrick, said any way to raise donations and awareness was welcome.

"I literally just had people turn up to donate [money] because of the ice challenge.

"It's all new to me but I think it's great."

Other online campaigns, such as the "No-Makeup Selfie", received criticism for having little to do with cancer, and for not raising money for charity, but Fitzpatrick disagrees.

"The No-Makeup Selfie challenge raised a lot for the New Zealand Cancer Society, and it's early days [with the ice challenge] but every little bit counts."

The No-Makeup Selfie campaign raised nearly $2 million for the United Kingdom Cancer Research charity.

Donna-Lee Biddle is a journalism student at Wintec.

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- Waikato Times

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