Seafood sector’s “Live Well Challenge” raises thousands for Canadian charities
In two weeks, the Live Well Challenge has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities in Southern Nova Scotia.
The challenge, a modification of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, is the brainchild of Cape Sable Island fisherman Todd Newell, arose from a small town tragedy. On 7 January, a house fire in the fishing community of Pubnico Head took the lives of four children. A devastated community sprung into action to help the grieving family, and donations of money and items and services flooded in.
Newell wanted to help, so he issued a challenge to 100 of his fellow fishing captains and crews in LFA 33 and 34. He asked each to donate CAD 1,000 (USD 815, EUR 650) to charity and take a dip in the live wells of their boats. Participants were invited to video their dives and post on the challenge’s Facebook page.
In two days, the Live Well Challenge raised CAD 15,000 (USD 12,225, EUR 9,750) and after one week, it had raised CAD 200,000 (USD 163,000, EUR 130,250). Now, a little more than two weeks since the challenge was first issued, it has raised more than CAD 600,000 (USD 490,000, EUR 390,700), which is being distributed among 29 local charities.
Lobstermen, their crews, friends, suppliers, plant workers, dealers, and supporters have jumped into their live wells, off their boats and wharves in homeport harbors, into lobster holding tanks and any other cold water they could find. One supporter even walked through a car wash.
“I never expected to get this big,” Newell told his hometown newspaper. “To get this far, I never expected it.”