Participate in a lake-jumping good cause

Published 11:01 am Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Happy Medium by Erin Murtaugh

If you’re on any social media that supports video upload, especially Facebook, you’ve probably noticed a trend in the last month or so. Members of these social media sites have been participating in the Cold Water Challenge or the Polar Plunge.

What happens is someone is nominated by their friend who has jumped in the lake already. This person is then given 24 hours to jump in the lake themselves.

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This is how a video usually goes: Someone is standing in front of the camera with usually just a swimsuit on. They say something along the lines of “My name is Erin, and I have been nominated for the Cold Water Challenge. I nominated Suzie, Ashley and Billy. You have 24 hours. Good luck.”

After their speech, they go sprinting into the water or jump off the dock. Then they screech about how cold the water is. Of course, the water is cold. It’s early May in Minnesota. What more do you expect?

So where did this crazy trend come from? It came about when 6-month-old baby Landon Shaw was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. But, wait, how does an infant with cancer cause people to jump in the lake?

Good question!

The way it is supposed to be is if the people you nominate jump, you have to donate money toward Landon’s cause for every person. If they chicken out and don’t jump, they have to donate a greater amount of money themselves. It is a great fundraiser, in my opinion.

But wait, there are always those people who ruin things. People are now posting in these videos that if their nominees don’t jump, they personally owe them money or something else, such as beer, etc. Seriously people? This is a fundraiser.

People look rather stupid jumping in the lake to get money, alcohol or even just to show off their swimsuit bodies. You should at least donate to the real cause of the Cold Water Challenge. If you’ve jumped in the lake without donating, please consider it.

Donations from the Cold Water Challenge may be sent to:

Landon Shaw

care of The Flower Mill

606 Main St., Tarkio, MO 64491

Or through PayPal via


Albert Lea resident Erin Murtaugh is a senior at Albert Lea High School. She will be an intern this summer for the Albert Lea Tribune. She can be reached at