Tuesday, February 25

Brookdale Newsroom

Brookdale President Chills Out For Charity

Never let it be said that Brookdale backs down from a challenge.

For the second time in a month, college leaders voluntarily got soaked with near-freezing water as part of a nationwide awareness campaign for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

On July 30, the #Chillin4Charity campaign returned to the Lincroft campus as Brookdale President Dr. Maureen Murphy accepted a challenge issued by Raritan Valley Community College President Dr. Michael McDonough.

Murphy, exercising her presidential powers, also enlisted Hall of Fame softball coach Thomas “Bo” Scannapieco and Richard Pfeffer, dean of enrollment, development and student affairs, in the challenge as well.

The dousing was performed by a team of volunteers including Brookdale Athletic Director Shawn Noel, who took an ice bath himself as part of the campaign in early July. Despite temperatures in the 80’s and a cloudless sky over the Brookdale Administration Center lawn, the three latest “victims” were just a little bit shocked by the frigid water.

“It’s not the most relaxing way to cool off on a hot day, but it certainly is effective,” joked Murphy, shortly after completing the challenge. “In all seriousness, we are more than happy to be a part of this initiative. It’s wonderful to see colleges across the country coming together in support of such of an extremely worthy cause.”

#Chillin4Charity has become a national phenomenon this summer, sweeping across college campuses in every corner of the country. It began at the University of Arizona in June, when athletics officials pledged to donate money to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund if their conference rivals took an ice bath. If the rivals failed to complete the challenge within 48 hours, they would have to donate money or perform community service.

The campaign quickly went viral as teams, coaches and college officials across the nation joined in and began calling out their own colleagues and competitors.

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.

After completing the challenge, Brookdale’s participants got to make a few challenges of their own. Murphy called out Dr. John “Ski” Sygielski, president of Harrisburg Area Community College in Pennsylvania, and Dr. Casey Crabill, president of Onondaga Community College in New York. Pfeffer challenged Dr. Paula Pando, vice president of student affairs at Hudson County Community College. Scannapieco challenged Ryan Zegarski, assistant director of athletics at Mercer County Community College.

To see more photos of the event, including the aftermath, click here.