Monday, August 25, 2014


Then video camera…

Everywhere you look on social media or in the news there is someone doing the ice bucket challenge. Standing in one place and having a bucket of ice poured over the head. What in the world?

It’s an eye-catching gimmick but for a cause—raising money for a charitable cause or organizations.  The gimmick works because people want to see it and you-tube is full of them, neighborhoods and news media cover them, and the rich and the famous participate with the accompanying media. It draws the attention to various charities or community needs. 

Of course there are variations of it, like with actor and active member of the Louisiana police force, Orlando Jones, with his bucket of bullet casings. His challenge had to do with an issue rather than a charity. He said, in an interview, 
I wanted to do…talk about the insanity happening in Ferguson and just around the world. Those shell casings in my video represent the people who paid the ultimate cost for the freedoms we have today. I couldn’t find enough bullets to dump on myself to illustrate the number of people who gave their lives for a very important ideal.” 
- See more at:

Not a bad idea but it’s nothing new.

In the early 1900’s there was a practice of dunking, swimming, plunging into an icy body of water in the winter. Polar bear plunge certainly got attention and it also was used for charitable causes and usually had multiple participants and well publicized. A side note here is the polar bear plunge hasn’t been used just for raising money for a particular charity but held as a New Year tradition in many places of the world.

Communities have used a variation of it in fairs (and community street fairs) for charity. I’m sure you’ve seen the dunking booths. Usually someone of note from the community sits in a chair or on a bench and people pay a fee for the privilege of throwing a ball or series of balls at a target that releases the chair and drops the person into the water. In my neck of the woods when the police chief took a turn in the chair (several community leaders take a turn on that day) there was quite a windfall of funds raised. Hey, work out your aggressions in a safe manner and raise money at the same time? A good thing and I have to say, I was impressed with how accurate the participants were and how much time the chief spent in the dunking pool Lol! All the money raised by selling those balls to throw go to a designated community need—might be for the local school or library, build a community park, adding funds for the operation of the fire department, for repairing damage from storms, and that’s just a few reasons my town held them.

  • What about you? What do you think about this latest craze?

  • Have you done the ice-bucket challenge? Maybe you've participated in a winter polar plunge or bought a ball or two for a community-dunking booth?