Up to the challenge: As in a typical “Cold Water Challenge,” Chilton County High School Principal Cynthia Stewart was doused with ice cold water and then tried to recover from the shock.
Up to the challenge: As in a typical “Cold Water Challenge,” Chilton County High School Principal Cynthia Stewart was doused with ice cold water and then tried to recover from the shock.

Archived Story

Social media trend yields charitable donations

Published 4:54pm Monday, July 7, 2014

Unlike some other social media trends, the “Cold Water Challenge” seems to be producing some real good in Chilton County.

Anyone with a Facebook account has likely seen their “News Feed” the past several weeks filled with videos of friends taking the challenge.

Basically, someone is challenged to make a donation to a charity and have cold water dumped over his or her head. If the challenge is not accepted, then the donation to the charity is substantially higher, thus providing motivation for another of the many Facebook videos to be created.

The challenge must be accepted with a certain amount of time.

Friends are usually employed—to dump the water and also to video the situation.

Cold Water Challenge videos have been seen on Facebook for Tommy Glasscock, incoming superintendent of education; and John Shearon, who won the Republican nomination for Chilton County Sheriff.

Also participating was Chilton County High School Principal Cynthia Stewart.

Students dumped cold water over Stewart’s head while other students, and faculty members, looked on.

Stewart donated to the project to have the school’s front parking lot paved and challenged all faculty and staff members to donate to the school’s Relay For Life fund in honor of a faculty member suffering from cancer.

“We’ve got plenty of places where we need money,” Stewart said. “All these other things don’t mean as much as finding a cure for cancer.

“The idea of paying forward through these Cold Water Challenges is phenomenal.”

Local charities are reaping the benefits of the challenges.

Butterfly Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center has received about $600 from people making good on their challenges, according to Jana Zuelzke, executive director and child forensic interview specialist at Butterfly Bridge.

“That’s been a great little help and boost because we can certainly use it,” Zuelzke said.

Butterfly Bridge is a non-profit organization that relies heavily on community donations to provide services for child abuse victims in Chilton County.

Jessica Terry, director of the Chilton County Humane Society, said the shelter has received less than $100 so far but has only recently started being mentioned in challenges.

“It’s just now getting kicked off on the shelter’s end,” Terry said. “It’s a pretty good fundraiser idea. It seems to be getting in some donations.”

Terry said she took the challenge at the shelter.

“I think the employees had more fun than I did,” she said.

Other local organizations that have benefitted include Bridges of Faith, Raleigh’s Place and En Fuego, among others.

Though difficult to determine how the cold water challenge originated, it could be an unsanctioned spin-off of the “polar plunge” most widely used as a fundraiser for Special Olympics.

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