The Cold Water Challenge floods Logan Co.

Karissa Blackburn kblackburn@civitasmedia.com

June 3, 2014

Internet fads come and go so fast that it’s hard to keep up with the latest trends, but very few of them are socially conscious. For example, the cinnamon test was extremely popular a few years back (a person would eat a spoonful of cinnamon and nearly choke to death from the fumes) and the snow challenge this past winter (venture outside in a swimsuit and roll around in the snow) for no apparent reason besides to rise to the challenge. However, the newest wave to hit Logan county exceeds all prior expectations for internet challenges: the Cold Water Challenge.

The challenge goes a little something like this: a person donates $10 to a charity/nonprofit organization of their choice. But first, they video themselves jumping into or getting sprayed with cold water. That person then uploads the video onto social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram and tags (read: calls out) others to do the same. Those who have been called out must complete the challenge in 24 hours and give their charity $10 or they must donate $100 to the National Fallen Firefighters.

The challenge is becoming so popular in Logan Co. that many public officials are even stepping up to the challenge.

Chapmanville Mayor Jerry Price Jr. completed the challenge and called out all of the councilmen in the city. Price donated his money to a local charity: the Cory “Bird” Price Memorial Toy Drive. The charity commemorates Cory Price, a fireman on both the Chapmanville and Logan fire departments and an EMT with the Logan Emergency Ambulance Service Authority, who was killed in a tragic motorcycle crash.

Sheriff Sonya M. Dingess Porter completed the challenge with the help of the Cora Fire Department.

Bill Weese, Deputy Director at Logan County Office of Emergency Management and Fire Chief at the Man Volunteer Fire Department, said the cold water challenge originated within the fire departments.

“The challenge started circulating in the Logan Co. fire departments a little over a week ago,” Weese said. “Then it spread to LEASA, public officials and now the civilians.”

Weese said that everyone that he has witnessed being “called out” has been a very good sport.

“I think everyone down at LEASA has participated, and all 24 of my firefighters in Man have as well,” Weese said.

But, as always when it comes to the internet, sometimes it is easy to lose track of the real reason of participation and begin to worry about how many “likes” the video will receive. Weese wants to make sure that everyone stays safe while participating in this challenge.

“This isn’t about who does the craziest stunt,” Weese said. “It’s about donating to charities.”

Some of the most popular local charities to donate to are the Gabe Lyall Heart of a Hero Foundation (this is where Weese donated), the Logan County Firefighters Association, the Wounded Warrior Project and the Cory “Bird” Price Memorial Toy Drive.

“We really appreciate that everyone in Logan is jumping on board with this,” Weese said. “We just want to make sure that everyone completes the full challenge and follows through with the pledges they made to the charities.”