Drinking no part of charity efforts

A cancer charity fundraiser that, for some, had mutated into a viral drinking game, has shocked Southern participants.

Willis Tepania (40) a father from Kaitaia, died after taking part in an ''ice challenge'' on Saturday night.

He suffered a heart attack hours after drinking a large amount of bourbon.

The ice challenge encourages participants to submerge themselves in ice-cold water or have a bucket of ice poured over them.

The participants then nominates another person - via social media - to take up the challenge, and then donate money to a chosen charity.

However some have adapted the ''ice challenge'' to become a drinking game.

Maniototo resident Amie Pont took part in the ice challenge with a friend on Thursday to raise money for Child Cancer, to honour her sister Hayley, who died of leukaemia aged 4.

The challenge involved dipping their feet in a frozen Maniototo swimming pool and tipping water and ice over their heads, a challenge which involved no alcohol.

''You shouldn't do it as a reason to consume alcohol. The ice challenge is nothing compared to what people go through suffering cancer.''

Dozens of people on the Otago Daily Times Facebook page said they supported the charitable challenge, but were disappointed others had turned it into a viral drinking game.

''It's small-minded people who take it to that other level; it's not even about the drink. People should learn about the challenge before they do it,'' Jessica Bradley said.

Jackie Henare said: ''It's sad that people have turned something so empowering (supporting) cancer into yet another alcohol game. Makes me mad!''

More than $100,00 had been raised for cancer organisation involved with the ice challenge.

- hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz

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