#Chillin4Charity, a social media awareness campaign for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, came to the Brookdale campus on July 8 and left two top athletic officials all wet.
Brookdale Athletic Director Shawn Noel and Head Women’s Basketball Coach Bob Dubina voluntarily got doused with gallons of near-freezing water in support of the campaign, which has become a national phenomenon this summer.
Similar to a game of tag, the initiative involves sports teams and coaches who challenge their division rivals and competitors to dunk themselves in ice water. If they do so, the “dunkees” get to challenge someone else.
The challenges, which are issued through social media with the hashtag Chillin4Charity, are part of an effort to raise awareness for the nonprofit cancer fund created by acclaimed women’s basketball coach Kay Yow. Yow, who coached the U.S. women’s basketball team to an Olympic gold medal in 1988, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987. She died in 2009.
To date, the Kay Yow fund has contributed more than $3.8 million toward women’s cancer research.
Chillin4Charity began at the University of Arizona in June, when athletics officials pledged to donate money to the fund if their conference rivals took an ice bath. If the rivals failed to complete the challenge, they would have to donate money or perform community service.
The campaign quickly went viral as teams and coaches across the country joined in and began calling out their own friends and competitors.
Chillin4Charity came to Brookdale’s Lincroft campus after Tammy Smith, dean of college life at Union County College, challenged Noel. According to the unofficial rules for the campaign, Noel had 48 hours to be doused or submerged in freezing cold water. A group of counselors and young campers in Brookdale’s summer sports programs enthusiastically volunteered to help.
After lunch, as temperatures climbed above 90 degrees, the group set up on the lawn outside the Brookdale Recreation and Events Center with two large buckets of ice water. The second bucket was for Dubina, who was drafted into the challenge by his own athletic director.
“I’d like to thank Shawn for challenging me on this beautiful 95 degree day,” Dubina said, joking about the intense midday heat and humidity.
The campers counted down from three, then the counselors doused Noel and Dubina as if they had just won a national championship. After the initial shock, both men reported that the ice bath was a welcome respite from the sweltering summer day.
“It’s actually kind of refreshing,” Noel said.
Noel and Dubina, recording a video of the challenge, also named the next unlucky individuals who will have to face the frigid water.
Noel challenged Mercer County Community College Athletic Director John Simone and Ocean County College Athletic Director A.J. Trump, along with Garrett College Men’s Basketball Coach Dennis Gibson. Noel also challenged Dick Holler, director of student life and athletics at Westmoreland County Community College in Pennsylvania, and Donald Dutcher, director of athletics at Herkimer County Community College in New York.
Dubina challenged the women’s basketball coaching staff at Garrett Community College and Cumberland County College. The Cumberland County Dukes lost to Brookdale’s Jersey Blues in the Region XIX title game in March.
“All jokes and challenges aside, this is really about coming together,” Noel said after completing the challenge. “It’s great to see how awareness for the Kay Yow foundation transcends through all levels of play. From NCAA Division I to NJCAA Division III, we all stand together and support this extremely worthy cause.”
Brookdale’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee also supports the Kay Yow fund through its annual Play 4Kay Night, which is held each February.
More information on the Kay Yow Cancer Fund is availalble here.
Click here for more photos of the challenge.