Arizona's Cold Water Challenge spreads to schools nationwide
It all started with a bucket of water in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. In less than two weeks, it has become a soaking wet national sensation.
The question is – did Arizona women's basketball coach Niya Butts expect her Cold Water Challenge to take off so quickly?
"I started to see other coaches from outside of our conference tweet about it," Butts explained Wednesday. "Then I started to see #Chillin4Charity everywhere. I knew then we may be onto something because our coaches are pretty competitive."
Butts and the Wildcats initiated the Cold Water Challenge – and its associated #Chillin4Charity social media campaign – in mid-June in an effort to raise money and awareness for the Kay Yow Foundation. The premise was simple – take an ice cold bucket of water for all to see or donate to the Foundation. In turn, those taking the baths challenged their peers to do it.
From modest beginnings – a video from Tucson and a few challenges to fellow Pac-12 schools – to a national sensation, it seems like everyone involved in women's basketball is taking a bucket of water to the head for a great cause.
"That is outstanding," Butts said in reaction to the viral campaign's reach. "I never dreamed that, but that's awesome. It's for a fantastic cause."
To date, the Kay Yow Foundation says the #Chillin4Charity hashtag has been used in 13,200 tweets, reached 31.42 million people and been retweeted 80,400 times.