The Cold Water Challenge, a viral Internet sensation, has made its way to LaGrange prompting local public safety agents to participate and tag others to do so as well.
The rules of the challenge are simple: either jump into freezing cold water or stand there while the water is poured on you and donate $10 to a charity. Afterwards, tag five people to accept the challenge within 24 hours. If one rejects the challenge, they must donate $100 to a charity of choice by the person who tagged him or her.
The beginning of the cold water challenge is hard to determine as thousands across the Internet have posted their own challenges, though rumor says it was started by a group of firemen from the North.
Sgt. Marshall McCoy of the LaGrange Police Department said he first noticed the challenge circulating in Ohio where state wildlife officers would partake in a “polar bear plunge” jumping into the cold water.
Claiming the most theatrical challenge acceptance, Sgt. Robert Kirby of the LaGrange Police Department, was tagged by McCoy and posted his challenge on Facebook where he initially joked he would not accept the challenge, only to have buckets of freezing water poured on him.
“When I first saw the cold water challenge creeping around Facebook, I was filled with a sense of dread because I knew it would only be a matter of time before I got tagged and I hate cold water,” he said. “I decided to do something theatrical because I have a reputation for being a practical joker … I had planned on making it more of a lukewarm water challenge, but my daughters sneaked a load of ice into the water… so the expression of shock on my face wasn’t acting at all.”
Kirby donated his $10 dollars to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Troup County.
“I think it is great to see members of public safety and others supporting worthy causes in a new, creative - and painful - way,” Kirby said.
LPD Officer Ley Wynne also participated in the challenge, even tagging those beyond LaGrange in Columbus, hoping to send the challenge further across the state and nation. Wynne chose to donate to the Kevin Memorial Fund, the Griffin police officer who was killed in the line of duty.
“I am overwhelmed at the participation between all agencies,” Wynne said. “I’m proud of the friends I chose for completing the challenge and for keeping it going.”
Sheriff James Woodruff was tagged to accept the challenge by Wynne and donated his $10 to Hospice LaGrange.
“You can’t even imagine how cold it was, but it is for a good cause,” he said.
Woodruff added that the challenge is spreading like wildfire and has already made its way through half of the sheriff’s office.
Detective Chris Pritchett also donated to the Kevin Memorial Fund and participated in the challenge. Pritchett added that officers from Columbus to Newnan have joined the sensation and are accepting the cold water challenge is support of their favorite charities.