Most recently, members of the Regional Paramedical Services team were challenged by RPS operations manager Lee Wills to take the challenge for a worthy cause. The challenge consists of the following rules:
•A person can only be nominated to take the challenge by someone who has completed it himself or herself.
•Then, you have 24 hours to accept and complete the challenge and then donate a minimum of $10 to the charity of the challenger’s choice.
•If a person is unable to complete the challenge, he or she must then donate $100 to that charity.
• Donation amounts may vary, but the most common is $10 if you accept and $100 if you do not.
• After completing the challenge, the person uploads the video of the cold water act and posts it to Facebook, Youtube, etc., and then challenges others.
On Wednesday afternoon, Beth Gillott, director of administration at RPS, and Nathan Gann, RPS manager of IT, accepted Wills’ challenge. The two members will pay $10 each to Wills’ charity, the Wounded Warrior Project.
“I have a lot of family members that are in the military, and a lot of employees here are ex-military. I just have a lot of respect for them,” Wills said about why he chose his particular charity. “ ... I posted on Facebook my donation yesterday to show that it wasn’t just frivolous. Not everyone has done Wounded Warriors, some have done the Fallen Firefighters Foundation or other charities of their choice.”
Gillott and Gann chose two separate charities to help raise money for, Hope for Women and the Chris Howell Foundation, respectively. But, instead of jumping into a body of water or sitting in a chair and having someone dump water on top of them, Gillott and Gann were put on stretchers, flipped upside down and had other RPS employees pour buckets of cold water on them.
“It’s just a fun way to raise money to help out people in the communities. It all started with firefighters, and it’s just spread over into the rest of the EMS world,” Gillott said. “... My other objective was that not a lot of people in Jasper know about Hope for Women, and they don’t know that they can donate for that. It’s an awesome cause, locally in our community, to help battered women and children. They have a place to go; they have a home; they help them find jobs. It’s just a wonderful organization.”
Gillott challenged ABC 33/40 meteorologist James Spann, local RPS supervisor Cameron Padberry, Homewood firefighter and RPS purchasing agent John Morrow, Jefferson County RPS manager Greg Tubbs and Daily Mountain Eagle publisher Jack McNeely. Gann, who is donating the money he raises to his brother-in-law’s foundation, chose a couple of local business owners and two other EMS members to challenge.
“The organization that I choose is the Chris Howell Foundation. Chris Howell was involved in an accident two years ago and was told that he would be paralyzed from the neck down for the rest of his life,” Gann said. “At this time, he is regaining a lot of movement and making great progress, so my challenge is going to him.”
Gann challenged Matt and Jim Woods and their crew at Jasper Auto Sales, Michael Minor who is the executive director and IT coordinator over the BREMSS (Birmingham Regional Emergency Management Services System) region and Roger Wilson, director of Walker County E-911.
Those who are challenged will have to either donate $25 and take the challenge or “bow out” and pay $100.
“I think we should challenge every citizen in Walker County to find a charity of their choice and join in on the fun,” Gillott said. “Just don’t do anything silly. Keep it safe.”