ORGANISERS of the weekend’s South West Big Freeze ice plunge are “completely overwhelmed” with the success of the event which saw about $35,000 raised for the Fight Motor Neurone Disease (MND) cause.
Close friends Sarah Dunn and Tracey Telford were behind the event, which was held during the Hampden Football League’s Camperdown and Cobden clash at Cobden on Saturday.
After raising about $30,000 at the inaugural event at Camperdown last year, the increased total this year proved an emotional outcome for the pair.
“The whole day was totally amazing,” Mrs Dunn said.
“Hundreds of people turned up for the fun and there was an incredible atmosphere with plenty of laughs and cheering on.
“To have so many people come out and support the Big Freeze was absolutely wonderful.”
The Big Freeze saw 10 local identities, dressed in a range of costumes, plunge into a pool of water filled with 1200 kilograms of ice.
Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Neptune, Jon Snow of Game of Thrones fame, American president Donald Trump and even a rubber ducky were among the sliders to hit the icy water.
Mrs Dunn said each participant raised funding towards the cause, in some cases more than $3000 each.
“The sliders did an incredible job raising so much money,” she said.
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“The two football clubs also made generous donations and there were quite a lot of raffles as well.
“We also pre-sold 600 Big Freeze beanies, but could have easily sold another 200-300 more.
“It was great to raise so much money for the Fight Motor Neurone Disease charity, but just as important was raising awareness of the disease.”
Including this year’s funding tally, Mrs Dunn and Ms Telford have raised just over $100,000 for the cause.
“We started with raffles and other fundraising five years ago,” Mrs Dunn said.
“When we first started there was absolutely no hope for anyone diagnosed with MND, a disease where sufferers lose all control of their bodies and are likely to die within a couple of years.
“Now, thanks to all the funding raised for research, there is a drug being trialled that slows the progressiveness of the disease substantially.
“It’s a great advancement and gives us hope that a cure will one day be discovered.”
The two organisers gave special thanks to Clark Rubber, Maddens Lawyers and Bendigo Bank (Camperdown and Cobden) as the event’s major sponsors and Cobden’s Kooler Dairy for providing the ice.
Big Freeze participants included:
- Hampden League president Tim Mason;
- Cobden identity Clinton Baulch;
- 3YB Hampden League broadcaster Trent Hill;
- Coast FM ‘Mornings with Monkey’ identity Lachlan Rooke;
- Camperdown Football Netball Club identities Gary O’Neil, Berni Sinnott and Peter Reilly;
- Cobden Football Netball Club president Darren Mounsey and member Kerry McGlade; and
- The Clark Rubber rubber duck.
- “It was a fantastic day full of hope and we thank everyone for coming along and supporting it,” Mrs Dunn said.