FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The sun is out and summer is in full force, but women's basketball coaches across the country are cooling off for a great cause. What started off as a Cold Water Challenge has evolved into the viral #Chillin4Charity social media campaign in support of the Kay Yow Foundation and the Northern Arizona women's basketball staff has been called out.
"First and foremost it was a really cool idea and I credit Niya at UA for throwing the first challenge out," said head coach Sue Darling. "I don't think anybody had any idea that it would get this big, but it shows the spirit and camaraderie between women's basketball coaches. It's for a great cause that is not only personally close to me but to all women's basketball coaches, so it's going to be a lot of fun to take part in. We're excited to respond to our challenge and we're going to go beyond the Gatorade buckets and show off our neck of the woods in Northern Arizona."
Spearheaded by Arizona head coach Niya Butts and her staff, the Cold Water Challenge started as a modest challenge to a few fellow Pac-12 coaches earlier this month. Since then, the viral campaign has gone national with YouTube videos from every part of the country popping up to support the Kay Yow Foundation.
The rules of the #Chillin4Charity campaign are simple, stating that all parties have 48 hours to answer their challenge. Any head coach who doesn't answer the challenge must make a $250 donation to the Kay Yow Foundation. If the challenge is met, the challenger must make a $50 donation. For assistant coaches, the idea remains the same with the dollar amount at $100 and $25 respectively. Student-athletes have also participated with community service on the line for all involved.
According to the Kay Yow Foundation, as of the morning of Friday, June 27, the #Chillin4Charity hashtag has been used in 26,300 tweets, been retweeted 123,400 times and reached 68.11 million people as the campaign continues to grow with every passing minute.
The Kay Yow Cancer Fund was officially founded on Dec. 3, 2007, from the vision of the organization's namesake Kay Yow, the former head women's basketball coach at North Carolina State University. Yow was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 and passed away on Jan. 24, 2009 after facing her third bout with the disease. Before her death, she joined forces with the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and The V Foundation for Cancer Research to form the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization committed to being a part of finding an answer in the fight against women's cancers through raising money for scientific research, assisting the underserved and unifying people for a common cause.
Head Coach Sue Darling, assistant coach Karlie Burris as well as sophomore guard Rene Coggins have officially been challenged in the videos posted below. Assistant Coach Jamie Shadian has also been challenged by New Mexico State assistant coach Cecilia Russell-Nava (video unavailable at the moment).
You can be assured that the Lumberjacks have quite the splash in store for #Chillin4Charity.