Cold Water Challenge catches on in Hardin County

-A A +A

Viral craze has locals getting wet for a cause

By Carly Besser

Donating to charity has become a lot cooler lately.

While giving money for a good cause typically ends with writing and mailing a check, the Cold Water Challenge deviates from tradition.

Those involved in the challenge donate to the charity of their choice and challenge four friends via Facebook to participate. The friends they challenge have 24 hours to accept the invitation. Those invited are left with two choices. They can accept the challenge, donate $10 to any charity they choose and post a video of them getting wet within the time limit. If they reject the challenge, they are asked to donate $100 to the challenger’s charity.

When Elizabethtown resident Cely Williams accepted the challenge, she quickly decided to do a self-service car wash with her son, nephew and husband. She chose Little Hearts as her charity to honor her niece, who died from a heart defect.

“I was going to Franklin, during my 24 hours,” Williams said. “So I had to come up with something quick. My time was running out.”

After washing cars for the 10 minutes she had left, she posted the video on her Facebook timeline. Williams said she likes the idea of the challenge because it is fun and people get involved.

“It just makes people laugh,” Williams said. “I love it. It’s more fun than just writing a check and sending it off, and it’s for more than just one charity.”

Though the challenge is sweeping the nation, its origins trace back to the small town of Grundy, Missouri. The game was created to raise money for Madi Rogers, who needed a diabetes alert dog.

After the challenge became a hit, it took social media by storm. Now, the trend is catch­ing on in Hardin County.

While Williams embraced the challenge, another Elizabethtown man was thrown off guard.

When Chris Jones received the challenge from a friend, his first reaction was, “Thanks a lot.”

Hard-pressed for inspiration, Jones decided to donate his $10 to his challenger’s charity, The American Cancer Society. A tractor then dropped a loader full of water on him while his family filmed. He came up with the idea of the tractor dump while running one morning.

“Everyone knows someone whose been affected by cancer,” Jones said. “Everyone has been touched by it in some way, so that’s why I chose to stick with The American Cancer Society.”

Although he first dreaded being picked for the challenge, Jones attested to its effectiveness in raising awareness for charity.

“It makes things a little more interesting,” Jones said. “Doing it online brings everyone in the spotlight. A lot of people forget (about donating to charity) and this is just something that reminds them.”

Some who have taken the challenge have had buckets of water poured on them, they have jumped into a lake or pool, or been hosed down, for instance.

Those interested in learning more about the wet benefit can go to the Cold Water Challenge Facebook page, where users around the country post challenge videos.

Carly Besser can be reached at 270-505-1740 or cbesser@thenewsenterprise.com.